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

Tombstone Combined Service Record

Lionel W Day
Submitted by Brian Hogan

Lionel W.Day was born on a farm in Maine in 1839, one of 5 sons of Eben and Clarissa Day. In the late 1850s the family moved to the fertile praire land in north-central LaSalle County, Ilinois, where they prospered. Continued life as a farmer had no appeal to Lionel, he chose to study law and became licensed to practice in Illinois.

Lionel and younger brother George answered President Lincoln's call for volunteers, enlisting as Privates in Company A, 64th Illinois Infantry on August 16,1862. They were with the regiment during the battle at Corinth, Mississippi in October, 1862, when the regiment lost 70 men killed,wounded and missing. On March 3,1863 Lionel transferred to the 1st Alabama Cavalry, U.S. at Corinth and was promoted 1st Lieutenant, serving as Regimental Adjutant. The 1st Alabama Cavalry U.S. was very active in north Alabama, scouting and engaging the guerrilla bands in the area. He was mustered out on March 2, 1864 at Memphis,Tennessee, and returned to Illinois.

His brother George remained with the 64th Illinois and died of wounds on August 7,1864 during the Atlanta Campaign.

Lionel didn't stay long in Illinois. He returned to Alabama in the summer of 1865, first to Selma, where he sought a location to set up a law practice, then to Montgomery in August, where he was employed by the Post Office. While there he met many influential men, and was appointed, in January,1866, as Clerk of the United States District Court in north Alabama, which held court in Huntsville.

He held that office for 8 years and was subsequently appointed Assistant United States District Attorney. He retired from that office in 1884, and entered private practice, ranking as one of the successful lawyers of Northern Alabama.

Lionel W.Day died suddenly of a massive stroke on March 15,1891, at the age of 52.

Obituaries printed in the local newspapers attest to his standing in the community.

The Weekly Gazette wrote "...Huntsville loses one of its most esteemed and widely known public men, an estimable citizen, a brave soldier; in all a chivalrous character. The funeral services were largely attended from the Episcopal Church...and the remains were laid to rest with the honors of the I.O.O.F, the G.A.R., [Grand Army of the Republic] the Huntsville Bar, and the City authorities. Appropriate resolutions of respect have been adopted and tributes paid to the memory of the deceased by each of these organizations. Peace to his calm and tranquil spirit."

The Weekly Mercury wrote "...the largest concourse of people we have seen in our city for years, assembled to pay the last sad tribute to the memory of our esteemed fellow citizen, Capt. Lionel W.Day. It was indeed a touching sight to see the remains of one who had come among us as a stranger and a Federal soldier, who had neither family or relative living in our community, followed to the grave by the representative of every class of Southern society, and the circumstances spoke in strong and unmistakeable terms of the high appreciation our community had of the magnificent character that Capt.Day had attained in the estimation of all who knew him. The gray-haired citizen, the Confederate veteran, and the fair women commingled tears of sorrow over his grave, nor did the colored people forget his merits, for they too in sincere sorrow followed him to his last resting place..."

Perhaps W.L. Clay, an ardent supporter of Secession, said it best when he wrote "...when Memorial Day comes again, and when flowers are scattered over the graves of the Confederate dead, that Capt.Day's grave will be as kindly and liberally remembered by loving friends as the grave of any here that fell for the cause that was loved but lost."

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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