The 53rd Alabama Cavalry Regiment, Partisan Rangers, was organized by increasing the 1st Cavalry Battalion to regimental size at Montgomery on 5 November 1862. Recruits were from Autauga, Coffee, Coosa, Dale, Dallas, Lauderdale, Lowndes, Macon, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Tallapoosa and Wilcox counties. It proceeded in a few weeks to Mississippi. In moving from Columbus to Decatur, in Lawrence, a portion of the regiment was there equipped and proceeded to join Gen'l Earl Van Dorn. This battalion was in the fighting at Thompson's Station, and at Brentwood. The regiment was engaged in the fight with Union Gen'l Grenville Dodge at Town Creek and in the pursuit of Union Col. Abel Streight. Soon after, the 53rd joined the main army at Dalton as part of Gen'l Moses W. Hannon's Brigade, Gen'l John Kelly's Division. It operated on the right of the army as it fell back towards Atlanta and was engaged in constant duty. When Union Gen'l William T. Sherman reached Atlanta, the 53rd was the principal force engaged in the daring raid in his rear, whereby a valuable train was destroyed. It was then at the heels of Sherman as he devastated Georgia and the Carolinas, and it took part in the last operations of the war in that quarter. It surrendered a small number with Gen'l Joseph E. Johnston at Durham Station, Orange County, NC, on 26 April 1865.
Field and staff officers: Col. Moses Wright Hannon (Montgomery; promoted); Lt. Col. John F. Gaines (Montgomery; wounded, Waynesboro); Major Thomas Farewell Jenkins (Wilcox; captured, near Florence); and Adjutants R. B. Snodgrass (Montgomery; wounded three times; transferred); George P. Furhman; and John T. Tannehill (Montgomery).
It was assigned to (1) the District of the Gulf, Dept. #2 (Dec 1862); to Armstrong's Brigade, Jackson's Division, Van Dorn's Cavalry Corps, Department of MS and East LA (Feb 63) with a total of 517 effectives; (2) to Armstrong's Brigade, Van Dorn's Division, Army of Tennessee (Feb-March 63); (3) to Armstrong's Brig, Jackson's Division, Van Dorn's Cavalry Corps, Army of TN (March 63); (4) to District of Northern AL, Dept #2 (July-Aug 63); (5) to Roddey's Brigade, Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, Army of TN (Aug 63-April 64); (6) to M. W. Hannon's Brigade, Humes' Division, Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, Army of TN (April-Nov 64); (7) to Hannon's Brigade, Humes' Division, Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, Department of SC, GA, and FL (Nov 64-Jan 65); (8) to Hannon's Brigade, Allen's Division, Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, Hampton's Cavalry Command (Feb-April 65); and (9) to Hagan's Brigade, Allen's Division, Wheeler's Cavalry Corps, Hampton's Cavalry Command, Army of TN (April 65).
The regiment fought in the following battles: Cherokee Station and Little Bear Creek, AL (12 Dec 62); Thompson's Station (5 March 63); Florence, AL (25 March 63); Brentwood (25 March 63); Town Creek (April 63); Streight's Raid (April-May 63); Chickamauga (19-20 Sept 63); Atlanta Campaign (May-Sept 64); Resaca (14-15 May 64); Atlanta Siege (July-Sept 64); Jonesboro (31 Aug-1 Sept 64); Carolinas Campaign (Feb-April 65)