The scene depicts the Seventh Alabama Calvary, part of Rucker's Brigade, crossing the Duck River the morning of November 28th, 1864. The color sergeant catches a glimpse of a pair of mallards coming up from a backwater slough of the river. Here at Carr's Mill, close to Columbia, Tennessee, Gen. J.R. Chalmers' division crossed while Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Gen. W.H. Jackson crossed elsewhere. Chalmers and Forrest reunitied that morning close to Spring Hill, Tennessee, where they met heavy resistance by the Union forces the following day. The fighting at Spring Hill was only a prelude to what laid ahead. November 30th, 1864 found Forrest's Calvary involved in the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee. The Confederate losses were enormous. Commanding Gen. Hood lost 6250 men, including 6 generals. Two weeks later in Nashville, the Confederate Army may have been completely annihilated if not for the skillful action of Gen. Forrest's Calvary. He insured that the remnants of the Confederate's were able to cross the Tennessee River ten days later. Thus ended Gen John Bell Hood's "Nashville Campaign".
The flag depicted in the painting, made from a silk wedding dress, originally belonged to the cadets of the University of Alabama. Forty-seven brave cadets led by Captain Charles Paddock Storrs volunteered their services to the Confederate Army, forming Company "F" of the Seventh Alabama Calvary. The Seventh Alabama Calvary Regiment, led by Colonel Joseph Hodgson, was formed on July 23, 1863, in Green County, Alabama. On September 4th, 1864 they were merged into Colonel Edmond M. Rucker's brigade. This brigade was commanded by Gen. James R. Chalmers of Forrest's Calvary. They numbered 9232 horsemen and 467 artillerists. In this command, Hodgson's 7th Alabama Calvary remained until the end of the war. Upon receiving orders from Gen. N.B. Forrest in early May 1865, the 7th regiment met at Gainsville, Alabama, a month after Lee's surrender. There they laid down their arms, were paroled, and allowed to return to their homes.