Old South Military Antiques

Forrest’s Escort Presentation Pipe
Item #: OS-7484







Though I have encountered numerous Confederate pipes over the years, this is the first professionally made presentation pipe that I have ever encountered. It has a solid silver, jeweler made windscreen that is engraved: "Clinton Whitfield Co. A Forrest’s Cav Reg’t CSA”.

The Official Records provide the following information: "This company was successively designated as Captain Edmundson’s Company, 154th Senior Regiment Tennessee State Volunteers; Company B, 154th Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, Captain Allin’s Company of Sharp Shooters, General Preston Smith’s Brigade; Company F, 11th, Tennessee Cavalry; Company A, MacDonald’s Battalion Tennessee Cavalry; Company A, Forrest’s Regiment Tennessee Cavalry, and 2nd Company A, 3rd, Forrest’s Regiment Tennessee Cavalry” Confusing isn’t it?

Twenty two year old Clinton Whitfield, known by all as "Clint” joined his brother James, and enlisted as a musician in the 154th Senior Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Company H, but shortly after, he was reduced to a private in the ranks. Very few of his records survive and I cannot find his enlistment date in the 154th, but his first record listing him as member of Forrest’s Cavalry is on November 1st, 1863.

Cavalryman Clint Whitfield was captured on January 5th, 1863 at Murfreesboro and was in U.S.A General Hospital at Louisville, Kentucky on February 15th, at Camp Morton P.O.W. Camp on February 25th, 1863, and was exchanged on April 6th, 1863. He probably remained out of service until he became a member of McDonald’s Battalion, Co. A, on November 1st, 1863.

On October 29, Forrest was detached from the Army of Tennessee, and sent to West Tennessee and North Mississippi "to organize such troops as he can.” On November 7, Forrest, on setting out on this assignment, reported "McDonald’s Battalion, my escort Company, and one battery (Morton’s) will comprise my entire command.” Clint was part of this small force. There were only 271 men present for this expedition, of which McDonald’s Battalion of Cavalry comprised 139 men.

McDonald’s Battalion was part of Forrest’s command at Okolona, Mississippi in February 1864, when he defeated the Yankees under Major General Sooy Smith. On March 7, McDonald’s Battalion was reported in the brigade commanded by Colonel R. C. McColloch, of Brigadier General James R. Chalmers’ Division, but on March 9th, Duckworth’s Regiment, and McDonald’s Battalion, now commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James R. Crews, were ordered to report to Forrest at Columbus, Mississippi, and accompanied him on his raid into West Tennessee, and his capture of Fort Pillow on April 13. Lieutenant Colonel Crews remained in command of the Battalion until superseded by Lieutenant Colonel Kelley in July, 1864.

In West Tennessee, they were in the operations incident to Forrest’s recruiting of a new force from the stragglers hiding in that area and North Mississippi, and gathering supplies. Forrest’s name and fame having drawn the necessary recruits, they fought in the Battle of Okolona, were in the raid to Paducah, the capture of Fort Pillow, the Battles of Brice’s Crossroads and Harrisburg, and the Memphis Raid.

On April 15, Forrest, on his withdrawal into Mississippi, reported he had left Duckworth’s Cavalry Regiment and McDonald’s Battalion in West Tennessee for the purpose of conscripting, and holding the guerrillas in check. The battalion continued to be reported in McCulloch’s Brigade until July 18, 1864, when Forrest ordered; "The regiment now known as Forrest’s Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel D. C. Kelley, will be assigned to duty with Neely’s Brigade.”

The authorities at Richmond had gotten the impression that Forrest’s Old Regiment had lost its identity, but in May, 1864, General Forrest advised them that McDonald’s Battalion was a part of his old regiment, and that he intended to increase it to a regiment by the addition of other companies. On July 19, 1864, the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office finally got around to confirming the changes which had taken place sometime before, and ordered: "The four Alabama Companies heretofore attached to the organization known as McDonald’s Battalion, or N. B. Forrest’s 3rd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, are hereby transferred to Russell’s Alabama Regiment. The seven companies now composing N. B. Forrest’s 3rd Tennessee Cavalry will constitute the 26th Battalion, to the command of which Lieutenant Colonel D. C. Kelley is hereby assigned.” However, Forrest called it Forrest’s Tennessee Regiment, with Lt. Colonel Kelley in command.

On August 30, 1864, Colonel E. W. Rucker was given command of a brigade in Chalmers’ Division, composed of 7th (Duckworth’s), 14th (Neely’s), 12th (Richardson’s), 15th (Stewart’s) Regiments, and the 26th Battalion (Forrest’s Old Regiment). The unit was, from this time on, sometimes reported as the 26th Battalion, sometimes as the 3rd Tennessee, and sometimes as Forrest’s Old Regiment.

The 3rd, participated in the raid into Middle Tennessee from Athens, Alabama to Pulaski, and Spring Hill, Tennessee, and back through Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, in September. It then went with Forrest into West Tennessee, attacked Paris Landing and the firing of Johnsonville. Here Lieutenant Colonel Kelley, with the 26th, Battalion accomplished one of the most remarkable feats of the War, his command captured the transport Venus, and used it to capture the gun boat Undine.

Forrest rejoined the Army of Tennessee on November 15th, and took command of all the cavalry of that army. The regiment then fought through Hood’s Tennessee Campaign. On December 3rd, Colonel D. C. Kelley, utilizing four field pieces, blockaded the Cumberland River at Bell’s Mills, six miles below the city of Nashville, until the disastrous Battle of Nashville.

While Hood’s defeated and demoralized, hungry and half naked army slogged southward, Forrest faught a masterful rearguard action that saved Hood’s Army from total destruction. Forrest continued to operate in Alabama and Mississippi after the Army of Tennessee transferred to North Carolina to join General Joseph E. Johnston. His were the last Confederate forces east of the Mississippi to surrender. The regiment, as part of the 3rd Consolidated Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, was surrendered and paroled at Gainesville, Alabama in May 1865.

Clinton was a diehard rebel to the very end and was still with Forrest’s Old Regiment, in Company A, when he was surrendered at Gainsville, Alabama, on May 11th, 1865.

Clinton answered the "last roll” on July 2nd, 1917, at his home in Zephyrhills, Florida, where he and his wife ran a successful hotel. The UCV lamented his loss saying he was "gentle, and lovable in his temperament, he was also the bravest of the brave. He was prepared for his crossing and now rests under the ‘shade of the trees”.

Clint’s presentation, silver mounted pipe is made of Meerschaum, measures 4.5 x 3 inches and is 2.25 inches in diameter. I determined that is a war era presentation, rather than a post war U.C.V. pipe, based on several facts. The U.C.V. did not get started until approximately thirty years after the War. The large, oversize pipes like this one faded from popularity during the War; meerschaum was superseded by briar for pipe making within a decade of the War, and last, because U.C.V. items are typically marked U.C.V. (though not always).

Price $7,400.00 USD