In mid-April 1863 both the Union and Confederacy launched impressive cavalry raids to harass their enemies. From La Grange, Tennessee Union Colonel Benjamin Grierson headed south with seventeen hundred cavalry, raiding through Mississippi.
The intent was to draw attention from Ulysses Grant’s offensive against Confederate held Vicksburg. Further to the east, another seventeen hundred man Union strike force led by Colonel Abel Streight moved south from Nashville into Alabama. Not to be outdone, the Confederates sent a five thousand man, cavalry force under General John Marmaduke from Arkansas into Missouri.
All three commanders completed their operations by May 3. Each daring commander survived the war, with Marmaduke eventually elected as Missouri’s governor and Streight serving in the Indiana state senate. Grierson continued in the U.S. military until his retirement in 1890.