After destroying Tuscaloosa, Wilson’s cavalrymen headed southeast, continuing their raid of the state. Although part of Nathan B. Forrest’s cavalry put up a fight against Wilson’s men in Montevallo, for the most part, the Union soldiers moved unabated toward the Selma arsenal. Upon hearing that the Yankees were approaching, Confederates prepared the city by destroying anything they believed could be of use to the northern enemy before they evacuated. Wilson’s men burned Selma and destroyed its arsenal, and after the war, Republican newspaper editor John Hardy reported that the Yankees left a “scene of utter ruin…. The commons around the city were almost covered with dead and crippled animals, and the people without means to move them.”
As northern soldiers finished with Selma, word reached Montgomery. Governor Watts and other state officials prepared to move the capital of Alabama to Eufaula, packing up all the government documents and money they could. But, as they evacuated, the Confederate war effort completely unraveled. Moving the capital could not save Alabama, and one month after Wilson’s raid began, the state of Alabama fell into Union hands.