1st Alabama Cavalry - Est. 1862
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It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Glenda McWhirter Todd. She passed away on September 3, 2017 surrounded by her family. She was a historian, genealogist, and author who prided herself on being a descendant of Andrew Ferrier McWhirter of the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV. Her work over the past two decades and her dedication to the 1st Alabama Cavalry has created a legacy that will last for years to come.

Her life's work has touched thousands of people through the years, and I am glad that I had the pleasure to work with her as long as I did. My hope is that her work will live on for years to come to educate and inspire a new generation.


Stories about Troopers from the 1st Alabama

Picture Tombstone Combined Service Record

David R Snelling

David R. Snelling was born and raised on a cotton plantation about eight miles west of Milledgeville, Georgia. His uncles owned two adjoining plantations of around 2800 acres, and 125 slaves between them. David worked as an overseer on his uncle’s plantation when he was 16 years of age.

He grew to despise the institution of slavery. Impressed into a Confederate infantry regiment in April of 1862, David crossed the Tennessee River in a small boat while on picket duty.

He joined the First Alabama Union Cavalry regiment in August of 1862, and was commissioned a First Lieutenant the following October. He saw action with the First Middle Tennessee Cavalry in Tennessee, and on Colonel Abel Streight’s raid through Alabama. He was captured near Rome, Georgia and exchanged, and his company was ordered back to the First Alabama in October of 1863. His company was redesignated as company I of the First Alabama Regiment

David saw action later at Vincent’s Cross Roads, and the regiment saw action in Mississippi, Arkansas, and finally in north Georgia during Sherman’s Atlanta campaign.

David was selected as the commander of General William T. Sherman’s escort cavalry during the March to the Sea, and the Campaign of the Carolinas.

David resigned his commission in July of 1865, in Nashville, Tennessee. He worked a variety of jobs after the war, as a school teacher, newspaper editor, farmer, and even an itinerant preacher.

His relatives near Milledgeville never forgave him for his involvement in the war on the Union side. From the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, General (at the time Colonel) Spencer reported:

During the last year of the war General Sherman's escort was from my regiment. The lieutenant commanding that escort was born and raised near Milledgeville, Georgia. After he was mustered out of the service, in August last, he returned to Milledgeville, but was allowed to remain only six hours there. He was mobbed in the streets of Milledgeville, and was charged with being responsible for everything that Sherman's whole army did in Milledgeville. His friends and relations made him leave to save his life.

David's widow drew a Federal pension after his death from 1908 to 1944.


About the Author
Steve Harrell has recently released a novel based on the service record or David Snelling called The Unionist: A Novel of the Civil War

Database created and maintained by Ryan Dupree.

Service records compiled by Glenda Todd and used with her permission. This and other information about the history of the First and the men who fought with the unit can be found in her book, First Alabama Cavalry, USA: Homage to Patriotism.

If you would like to contribute to our collection, please feel free to contact us.

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