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Tyree Harris Bell
Confederate Field Officer

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FIELD COMMANDS
12th Tennessee Infantry Regiment Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel


BIOGRAPHY
Brigadier-General Tyree H. Bell,one of the many gallant officers given by the Volunteer State to the Southern Confederacy, entered the service as captain in the Twelfth Tennessee infantry, June 4, 1861, and was elected lieutenant-colonel. His military duties during 1861 were with the army under Maj.-Gen. Leonidas Polk at Columbus, Ky. He commanded the regiment at the battle of Belmont, November 7, 1861, the colonel being that day in command of a brigade. At Shiloh he was again in command of his regiment, Col. R. M. Russell having charge of the First brigade, First division, army of Mississippi. Colonel Russell in his report of the operations of his brigade at Shiloh says: "Lieutenant-Colonel Bell and Maj. R. P. Caldwell were distinguished by their courage and energy. The former had two horses shot under him." In July, 1862, Bell was promoted to colonel of the Twelfth Tennessee and led it in the Kentucky campaign, participating in the battle of Richmond, Ky. Colonel Bell after this had a cavalry command operating in Tennessee and Kentucky. He was raiding in rear of the Union army during the Murfreesboro campaign, and at the time of the battle of Chickamauga, and afterward, was busy upon the flank and rear of the Federal troops. On the 25th of January, 1864, Major-General Forrest, who had assumed command of all the cavalry operating in north Mississippi, west Tennessee and Kentucky, placed Colonel Bell in command of a brigade in his division, consisting of the regiments of Russell, Greer, Newsom, Barteau and Wilson. General Forrest in his account of the battle of Fort Pillow says: "I cannot compliment too highly the conduct of Colonels Bell and McCulloch and the officers and men of their brigades which composed the forces of Brigadier-General Chalmers. They fought with courage and intrepidity, and without bayonets assaulted and carried one of the strongest fortifications in the country." In his report of the brilliant victory at Tishomingo creek, Forrest declares that General Buford "had abundant reason to be proud of his brigade commanders, Colonels Lyon and Bell, who displayed great gallantry during the day." Forrest again speaks in a complimentary manner of Bell at the battle of Harrisburg, in the Tupelo campaign, a battle in which, though repulsed, Forrest gained the substantial fruits of victory by breaking up the strongest of all the Federal expeditions into north Mississippi during 1864. Still later, Forrest made an expedition along the Tennessee river in October and November, 1864, in which he destroyed 4 gunboats, 14 transports, 20 barges, and over $6,700,000 of Federal property, besides capturing 26 pieces of artillery; and in this brilliant expedition Colonel Bell again won the praise of Forrest. He was soon afterward commissioned brigadier-general, and he continued to act with Forrest's command until the close of the war.
Confederate Military History
Side Confederate
State Tennessee
Born September 19, 1815
Died September 1, 1902





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