Sunday, July 31, 2016

The "Crocheron Light Dragoons"

Some of the only Colts that were actually issued to a Confederate unit were a group of 3rd model Dragoons which were sold to John J. Crocheron a wealthy planter from Elm Bluff, Alabama in early 1861. Crocheron, volunteered to purchase arms and equipment to outfit a newly organized cavalry company commanded by Robert W. Smith in Dallas County, Alabama. Therefore the name "Crocheron Light Dragoons". 

This company would later become part of the 3rd Alabama Cavalry which most of its command was utilized to protect commanding generals as escorts. The C L Dragoons were the personal escorts of Gen. Braxton Bragg early in 1862 en route to his command in Corinth, Mississippi just prior to the Battle of Shiloh; where this unit saw action and Capt. Robert W. Smith as commander was cited for "personal gallantry and intelligent execution of orders, frequently under the heaviest fire". This unit continued as escorts and couriers for Bragg in the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga. When Gen. Joseph Johnston replaced Bragg as Commander of the Army of Tennessee, this unit continued as his personal escort. Late in 1864 when Confederate President Jefferson Davis impatient with Johnston's actions he placed Gen. John Bell Hood in charge of the Army, again the "C. L. Dragoons" remained as Hood's personal escort.

It seems that while the enlisted men of the CLD's were armed with .44 caliber Colt 3rd Model Dragoons, the officers of the company each received a Colt Navy from the Governor of Alabama.
All these guns are engraved 
"C.L.DRAGOONS" on the barrels.

The following is a Model 1851 Navy  marked C. L. Dragoons.