Key facts about the Battle of Selma.
- April 2, 1865
- Dallas County, near Selma, Alabama
- Wilson’s Raid
Principal Union commander(s):
- Major General James H. Wilson
Principal Confederate commander(s):
- Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest
Union forces engaged:
- Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi
Confederate forces engaged:
- Forrest’s Cavalry Corps,
- State militia
- Selma citizens
Number of Union soldiers engaged:
- Roughly 9,000
Number of Confederate soldiers engaged:
- Roughly 4,000
Estimated Union casualties:
- 319 (42 killed, 270 wounded, 7 missing)
Estimated Confederate casualties:
- 2,700, most of whom were captured
- Union victory
- After capturing Selma, the Federals destroyed the city’s arsenal, foundries, and iron works, depriving the South of one of its major manufacturing centers.
- After the Battle of Selma, much of Selma also was destroyed by fire, which some sources claim was set by fleeing Confederates. Others contend that Yankee soldiers looted and then burned Selma.
- Under other circumstances, the fall of Selma would have been a considerable loss for the Confederacy, but roughly 700 miles to the northeast, Robert E. Lee evacuated Richmond and Petersburg that same night. Only a few days later, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the war.