20th Battalion Georgia Cavalry Partisan Rangers
Confederate States of America (CSA)
A Regimental History
Information gathered by John Griffin
(updated 23 November 2003)

In honor and remembrance of the ancestors who served with this regiment, lest they be forgotten, this regimental history is dedicated to:

Timothy Alderman Jr. a third cousin three times removed was born in 1845 the son of Timothy Alderman Sr. and Sarah Williams. Timothy married Mary E. Rosser. Timothy served as a Sergeant in Company D. National Archives Microfilm Box, Roll, and Record: 000226, 0001, 00002277

George W. Pike a second cousin three times removed was born in 1831 the son of John J. Pike and Nancy Jackson Hall. On 29 January 1861 when George was 30, he married Alice Joyce, daughter of James J. Joyce. George served in Company A. Afterwards he later became a member of Company D of the 8th Georgia Cavalry. National Archives Microfilm Box, Roll, and Record: 000226, 0048, 00002499 and 000226, 0048, 00002498

Roland Roberts a third cousin four times removed was born on 6 December 1821 in Lowdnes Co, GA the son of Tharp Roberts and Mary "Polly" Lea. Roland married Mary J. Swilley, daughter of Wiley Swilley. She was born on 15 December 1839 in Lowdnes Co, GA and died in Echols Co, GA on 24 January 1909. Roland served in Company A. Afterwards he later became a member of Company D of the 8th Georgia Cavalry. Roland died in 1916, he was 94. National Archives Microfilm Box, Roll, and Record: 000226, 0052, 00000750

Henry Vickers a first cousin four times removed was born was born on 26 December 1837 in Irwin Co, GA the son of Eli S. Vickers and Rebecca Paulk. His nickname was "Red Eyed Henry". On 8 February 1859 when Henry was 21, he first married Elender "Ellen" Sears, daughter of Hiram Sears & Harriet Ricketson. She was born on 23 November 1837 and died on 19 August 1897. On 12 June 1898 when Henry was 60, he second married Catherine "Katie" McMillan, my third cousin three times removed daughter of Archibald McMillan & Margaret "Peggy" Young, in Irwin Co, GA. She was born on 15 August 1857 in Irwin Co, GA and died in Coffee Co, GA on 4 April 1932. Henry served in Company A. Afterwards he later became a member of Company D of the 8th Georgia Cavalry. Henry died in Coffee Co, GA on 18 February 1920, he was 82. National Archives Microfilm Box, Roll, and Record: 000226, 0062, 00001039 & 000226, 0062, 00001037

Designations and Evolution of the Regiment

The 20th Battalion Georgia Cavalry was also known as a 20th Georgia Partisan Rangers. The regiment was organized 15 May 1862 starting with three companies and later expanding to seven. This battalion served on the Georgia coast until early spring of 1864 when it was assigned to General P.M.B. Young’s Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. From there the rangers participated in the Wilderness Campaign and the battles about Cold Harbor Virginia and several actions south of the James River.

In July1864, the 20th Georgia Battalion was ordered to disband by Special Order #161, however this order was not completed until 25 October 1864. Three companies united with seven from the 62nd regiment to form the 8th Georgia Cavalry. Three other companies were call to form the new 10th Georgia Cavalry. Still another company (Company B), which had been added to the battalion, was placed in the Jeff Davis Mississippi Cavalry Legion as Company G.

CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, FROM OCTOBER 1, 1864, TO DECEMBER 31, 1864.--# 2

XXIX. The second and third paragraphs of Special Orders, No. 161, current series, from this office, are amended so as to transfer Company B, Twentieth Battalion Georgia Cavalry, to the Jeff. Davis Legion, in the place of Company D, Twentieth Battalion Georgia Cavalry, which is hereby transferred to the Eighth Georgia Cavalry (Colonel Griffin). XXX. The ninth and eleventh paragraphs of Special Orders, No. 161, current series, from this office, are amended so as to transfer the Seventh Georgia Cavalry to Gary's brigade, and the Phillips Legion, Georgia cavalry, to Young's brigade. The commands will report accordingly promptly. O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLII/3

The regiment had the following officers: Lieutenant-Colonel John M. Millen, Major Samuel B. Spencer, and William G. Thompson, Adjutant M. E. Williams, Assistant Quartermaster L. S. Varnedoe. The captains by company were:

Company A- Moses J. Smith

Company B- William G. Thompson

Company C- J. G. Cress

Company D- William A. Lane

Company E- A. J. Love and later Thomas L. Paine

Company F- J. B. Peacock and later M. E. Williams 

(Company F was referred to as Liberty Mounted Rangers or Liberty Dragoons)

Confederate Military History Volume 6 Chapter 6 pages 155-156 mentions that the 1st Battalion Georgia Cavalry #2 Partisan Rangers as being part of this regiment.  Composed of companies commanded by Captain O. G. Cameron, Captain John Shawhan, Captain James M. Thomas, Captain Ezekiel F. Clay, Captain John B. Holliday, Captain R. G. Stoner, and Captain P.M. Millen. (NOTE: These men however are listed as officers of in Kentucky Cavalry regiments so it is likely that the editors of CMH when compiling this chapter made an error.  The National Archive muster rolls does not show these men with Georgia regiments, but with Kentucky Cavalry.)  The CMH continues with.... This battalion later became part of the 20th Battalion Georgia Cavalry. It was later designated the 15th Battalion of Georgia Cavalry Partisan Rangers organized with six companies on 18 June 1862, then increased to a regiment and designated as the 62nd Georgia Partisan Rangers Regiment on 1 August 1862. Major, then Lieutenant Colonel Joel R. Griffin was its first commander.

NOTE: So many of the Georgia Partisan Ranger units are listed as being the 1st Battalion Georgia Partisan Rangers that it is impossible to determine which claim is true. The 2nd and 15th Battalions, and the 2nd Regiment of Georgia Partisan Rangers are all listed as originally being the 1st Battalion.

Memoirs of this regiment by Charles Paine Hansell and James Reid Jones are on microfilm reel #283-27 and 29 at the Georgia Department of Archives and History. There is a 8 May 1864 letter of T. R. Reddick, in the Civil War Miscellaneous Collection.

Would you like to learn more about the 20th Battalion Cavalry and other Georgia regiments and also help support the cause of Southern Heritage?   More information on the history of this regiment is available in:

"Warriors of the Wiregrass"

 a soft-bound, 8-1/2 x 11 publication, consisting 500 pages, covering the history of 14 Regiments Georgia Regiments:

1st Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 4th Cavalry (Clinch), 10th Battalion Infantry, 11th Cavalry-State Guards, 20th Battalion Cavalry, 20th Volunteer Infantry, 29th Volunteer Infantry, 49th Volunteer Infantry, 50th Volunteer Infantry, 54th Volunteer Infantry, 61st Volunteer Infantry, 63rd Volunteer Infantry. 64th Volunteer Infantry, and Coffee County Revengers Local Defense Unit.....plus information on researching Confederate ancestors, obtaining Veterans Administration grave markers for Confederate veterans, SCV Iron Crosses and more.

The author has donated all profits from the sale of this book directly to the Moultrie SCV Camp to support Confederate History and Heritage preservation programs and the continuing fight to save our Southern Heritage. The retail price is $50.00 plus $5.00 shipping. Not a bad price when compared to single abbreviated regimental histories sold by others "up North" at $8-$15 each or cost of $112-$210 if purchased separately and having much less detail!  Discounts for current SCV & UDC members (20% off) and for bulk orders, schools, libraries, and teachers. Please contact the camp for discount information.

If you are interested send a check or money order made payable to the Moultrie SCV Camp #674  to: P.O. Box 1213 Moultrie, GA 31776.  Please include your name, address, and phone number.

Inquiries about the book, discounts, ordering, or content can be sent via email to Mr. Jack Bridwell, Moultrie SCV Camp or calling  (229) 985-8409

Please pass along to others as every book sold goes to preserve our Southern Heritage.

Bibliography- 20th Georgia Cavalry Battalion (Partisan Rangers)

Note: Organized Summer l862; disbanded July l864 and personnel merged into 8th Georgia Cavalry Regiment (which was formed also from the 62nd Regiment Georgia Mounted Infantry) and l0th Georgia Cavalry Regiments and the Jeff Davis Legion Cavalry.   The Compiled Service Records of the members of this battalion may be found in microfilm roll series M266. These film are available from the Georgia Archives

Roll # CSR-58 Surnames A-G
Roll # CSR-59 Surnames H-O
Roll # CSR-60 Surnames P-Z

Confederate Military History, Extended Edition. Vol. 7: Georgia. Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot, 1987. See p. 156  for a brief unit history.

Crute, Joseph H., Jr. Units of the Confederate States Army. Midlothian, VA: Derwent Books, 1987. Ref. See p. 98  for a concise summary of the battalion's service.

Sifakis, Stewart. Compendium of the Confederate Armies:...Georgia. NY: Facts on File, 1995. pp. 162-63

The following manuscripts may be found in the US Military History Institute Archives: Fleming, William A. - CWTIColl

 

2001 John Griffin