March 22, 1865
Union general James H. Wilson launched the largest cavalry raid of the Civil War into central Alabama with approximately 13,480 troops. Targeting industrial facilities like coal mines and ironworks, Wilson’s troops faced little resistance except for 5,000 cavalry troops under the command of General Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, who they defeated twice. In less than a month’s time, Wilson captured the important industrial cities of Montevallo, Tuscaloosa, Selma, and Montgomery. The raid effectively destroyed Alabama’s ability to support the Confederacy with military supplies, but it had almost no effect on the outcome of the war, which was determined at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9.