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This was a temporary designation for one legislative session only, and the capital was then moved to Cahawba, then to Tuscaloosa, and finally to Montgomery. The Fourth Alabama Infantry, which contained two Huntsville companies, were the first Alabama troops to fight in the war and were present when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox in April 1865.
These operated throughout World War II, with combined personnel approaching 20,000.In the initial occupation, the Union troops searched for both Confederate troops hiding in the town and weapons.After they had established themselves, the occupying federals did not burn or pillage the city of Huntsville, though towns around it were sometimes targeted. The Union troops were forced to retreat some months later, but returned to Huntsville in the fall of 1863 and thereafter used the city as a base of operations for the remainder of the war.On the morning of April 11, 1862, Union troops led by General Ormsby M.Mitchel seized Huntsville in order to sever the Confederacy's rail communications and gain access to the Memphis & Charleston Railroad.