Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Battle of Ebenezer Creek - Stanton, Alabama
The Battle of Ebenezer Church is often remembered today as a preliminary to the Battle of Selma, which was fought one day later. In reality, though, the April 1st encounter decided the fight for Selma before it ever took place.
Knowing that he could not hope to defend the vast fortifications surrounding Selma with the limited number of troops at his disposal, Forrest searched for good defensive ground north of the city where he could spring a trap on the army of Major General James H. Wilson. The Union general was then driving south through Alabama, destroying ironworks and farms as he advanced, and there was no doubt that his target was Selma and its militiary manufacturing facilities.
The battle did not unfold as Forrest hoped. Chalmers was unable to reach the field in time and only a portion of his brigade took part in the fighting at Ebenezer Church. The other 3,000 men that he planned to hurl against Wilson's rear were prevented from crossing the Cahaba River and did not reach the field.
Even without these men and despite the fact that he was outnumbered more than 2 to 1, Forrest waged a fierce fight at the Battle of Ebenezer Church. He was wounded by a saber blow during the fighting and also killed a Union officer who is thought to have been his 33rd combat victim.
To learn more about battle, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ebenezerchurch.