Books on Texas During the Civil War
1. Gallaway, B.P. (Editor), Texas, The Dark Corner of the Confederacy, University of Nebraska Press, 1994.
2. Pickering, David and Judy Falls, Brush Men and Vigilantes, Texas A&M University Press, 2000.
3. Howell, Kenneth Wayne, Texas Confederate, Reconstruction Governor: James Webb Throckmorton, Texas A&M University Press, 2008.
4. Wooster, Ralph A., Texas and Texans in the Civil War, Eakin Press, 1995.
5. Grear, Charles David, Why Texans Fought in the Civil War, Texas A&M University Press, 2010.
6. Kerby, Robert L., Kirby Smith’s Confederacy, The Trans-Mississippi South, 1863-1865, The University of Alabama Press, 1972.
7. Howell, Kenneth W. (Editor), The Seventh Star of the Confederacy, Texas during the Civil War, University of North Texas Press, 2009.
8. Marten, James, Texas Divided Loyalty & Dissent in the Lone Star State 1856-1874, University of Kentucky Press, 1984.
9. Frazier, Donald S., Fire in the Cane Field, State House Press, 2009.
10. Alberts, Don E., Rebels on the Rio Grande, The Civil War Journal of A.B. Peticolas, Merit Press, 1993.
11. Smith, David Paul, Frontier Defense in the Civil War, Texas A&M University Press, 1992.
12. Frazier, Donald S., Thunder Across the Swamp, State House Press, 2011.
John Salomon "Rip" Ford
Even today, very few people would have a resume or such an erratic career as that of John Salomon Ford. He was a newspaper publisher, doctor, lawyer, surveyor, teacher, state representative, mayor, sheriff, school superintendant, Texas Ranger and one of the foremost military minds to come out of Texas. To make matters more strenuous, he had malaria throughout most of his adult life. Born on May 26, 1815, in Greenville, South Carolina, Ford came to Texas in 1836. During the War with Mexico, he became an adjutant officer in Colonel Jack Hayes’ regiment of Texas volunteers. Among his many duties was the writing of condolence letters to the families of slain Texans. Ford signed the letters with the initials “R.I.P.” Henceforth, he held the nickname “Rip.” In 1858, Ford led a military expedition into the Texas panhandle against the Comanche nation. Consisting of Texas and Indian troops, his troops burned numerous villages and killed the Comanche chief, “Iron Jacket.” It was Ford who introduced the legislation to admit Texas into the Union, then ironically voted for secession fourteen years later. During the Civil War, Colonel Ford served as a conscription officer and district commander of South Texas. While serving as commander, he defeated two Union attempts to invade Texas through Mexico. At the Battle of Palmito Ranch, Ford defeated Union forces under Colonel Theodore H. Barrett. It was the last battle of the Civil War. Fearing prosecution, he fled to Mexico and served as an officer in the army of Benito Juarez. In his later years, he was a charter member of the Texas State Historical Association, and contributed some of the first articles to its Quarterly. After suffering a stroke, Ford died on November 3, 1897. He was buried in San Antonio at the Confederate Cemetery.
Santos Benavides was the highest ranking Hispanic officer in the Confederacy. Born on November 1, 1863, he was the great-grandson of Tomas Sanchez, the founder of Laredo, Texas. He became a wealthy, respected merchant and rancher in South Texas. A strong supporter of states-rights, Benavides gave his support to the Confederacy. As colonel of the 33rd Texas cavalry, he played a major role in defending Texas' southern border against bandits, Indians and Union forces. His greatest victory came at the Battle of Laredo where 40 of his cavalrymen defeated the 1st Texas Union Cavalry under Colonel Edmund Davis. In addition, he protected the cotton trade routes into Mexico where Confederate cotton was traded for arms and supplies. After the war, Benevides served in the Texas Legislature for three terms and Alderman of Laredo for two. He died on November 9, 1891 and is buried in Laredo's Catholic Cemetery.
Matthew Duncan Ector
Born on February 28, 1822 in Putnam County, Georgia, Matthew Duncan Ector served in both the Georgia and Texas legislatures. He enlisted as a private in the 3rd Texas Cavalry then rose to the rank of colonel in the 14th Texas Cavalry (dismounted). At the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky, Ector played a significant role in defeating Union forces under William Bull Nelson; the most complete victory won by Confederate forces during the war. The Confederates inflicted 5,353 casualties while suffering only 451 of their own. Ector was promoted to brigadier general and fought with distinction at Murfreesboro and Chickamauga. He was wounded three times. Ector's career was cut short by a leg wound during the Atlanta Campaign; his leg was amputated below the knee. He spent the war's final months participating in the defense of Mobile, Alabama. Ector returned to Texas with his third wife and settled in Henderson, Texas. He was elected a district judge but was removed by Union General Joseph Reynolds for being a Southern obstructionist. On October 29, 1879, he died in Tyler and was buried in Marshall, Texas. Ector County in West Texas was named in his honor.
Prior to coming to Texas, Richard Gano was a physician born on June 17, 1830 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. He, his wife Mattie, and their twelve children settled on a farm near Grapevine, Texas, the present site of the Dallas- Ft. Worth International Airport. While there, he led militia units against the Comanches and was presented an engraved sword for his efforts. On June 1, 1861, Gano was elected captain of the "Grapevine Volunteers" and was attached to the cavalry command of Colonel John Hunt Morgan. The 7th Kentucky Cavalry became famous for its daring raids deep behind Union lines. Along with eighty survivors of his Texas cavalry, he later returned to North Texas and saw service in the Indian Territory. The years of serving with Morgan provided Gano with ample experience in the art of guerilla warfare. Now in command of the 5th Texas Cavalry Brigade and Stand Watie's 1st Indian Brigade, Gano attacked Union forces in Southwest Arkansas. His greatest accomplishment was the capture of a massive Union supply train at Cabin Creek in the Indian Territory. Valued at more than two million dollars, the capture was considered one of the most successful raids of the war and breathed new life into Confederate efforts in the Indian Territory. It was after the war that Gano made his most successful endeavors. He was a bank director, rancher and real estate broker who introduced a number of cattle breeds on to his vast land holdings. In addition to being a millionaire businessman, Gano was an ordained minister of the Disciples of Christ, establishing churches across North Texas. He died on March 27, 1913 and is buried at Oakland Cemetery in Dallas. His rustic dogtrot cabin can be seen today at Dallas' Old City Park. His engraved sword is now part of the Applewhite Collection of Civil War artifacts.
A big reason the Union Army was not victorious on Texas battlefields was Tom Green. Highly revered as a leader, he was referred to as "Daddy" by his troops. He outfought all the enemies of Texas: Mexicans, Comanches and Yankees; they don't come any tougher then or now. Tom Green was born in Amelia County, Virginia on January 8, 1814. His first battle was at San Jacinto where he helped man one of the famed "Twin Sisters" cannons. After Texas won its independence, he served as Clerk of the Texas House of Representatives and later as a representative of Fayette County. Green also served as Secretary of the Texas Senate and Clerk of the Texas Supreme Court. In between desk jobs, Green went on punitive expeditions against Comanches and invading Mexican troops. During the War with Mexico, he commanded a company of Texas Rangers and helped General Zachary Taylor capture Monterrey. After Texas seceded, Green became a colonel of the 5th Texas Cavalry. The 5th was part of the ill-fated New Mexico Campaign led by General Henry Hopkins Sibley. His well timed charge at Valverde captured a Union battery and secured a Confederate victory. After a disastrous retreat across West Texas, he led his "Horse Marines" against a Union naval flotilla at Galveston Bay. Green cut off the Union troops on the Galveston docks and forced their surrender. Galveston was the largest Southern city to be recaptured by Confederate forces. His service in Louisiana earned him a promotion to brigadier general. Green defeated the Union cavalry during the Union's Bayou Teche Campaign, inflicting 3,000 casualties while suffering only 600 of his own. In April, 1864, under the command of General Richard Taylor (Zachary Taylor's son), he helped rout Union forces advancing on Shreveport at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. His demise came on April 12, 1864 while attacking Union gunboats on the Red River. A shell from an ironclad gunboat blew his head off. He was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.
The best infantry brigade in the Confederate Army of Tennessee was Granbury's Texas Brigade. In the face of total collapse, these Texans kept right on fighting, a reflection of their valiant commander. Born in Copiah County, Mississippi on March 1, 1831, Hiram Granbury moved to Waco, Texas in the 1850's. He studied law at Baylor University and was admitted to the bar. While serving as Chief Justice of McClellan County, he married Fannie Simms in 1858. After the war broke out, he recruited the" Waco Guards" which was later attached to the 7th Texas regiment. Granbury was captured at Ft. Donnelson and remained a prisoner until exchanged. During that time, he lost his wife Fannie to ovarian cancer. They had no children. He was promoted to colonel and commanded the 7th Texas at Chickamauga. At the Battle of Missionary Ridge, Granbury's brigade held off Union troops for hours, buying precious time for the Army of Tennessee during its retreat from Chattanooga. He was commissioned a brigadier general. The Battle of New Hope Church brought more honors. General Patrick Cleburne in his official report stated, "The piles of dead on this front was but a silent eulogy upon Granbury and his noble Texans." At the Battle of Franklin in 1864, Granbury was among the six generals killed. He was buried near Columbia, Tennessee then reinterred 29 years later in the Hood County town that bears his name. His beloved wife Fannie was buried in an unmarked grave at Tuscaloosa, Alabama and has never been found.
Born in Lawrence County, Alabama on September 28, 1828, John Gregg commanded Hood's Texas Brigade through its toughest battles during the Spring of 1864. At the start of the war, Gregg was a district judge, newspaper publisher and farmer in Freestone County. He organized and became colonel of the 7th Texas Infantry. Like Hiram Granbury, Gregg was captured at Fort Donnelson then later exchanged. He was promoted to brigadier general and served in the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign. At the Battle of Raymond, just outside of Jackson, Mississippi, Gregg's brigade of Texans and Tennesseans held off an entire Union Army corps of 10,000 for over 7 hours, a remarkable feat for a brigade numbering 3,000. After recovering from a wound sustained at Chicamauga, he was transferred to the Eastern theater. At the Battle of the Wilderness, Gregg led the Texas Brigade to everlasting glory in the very presence of General Robert E. Lee. When Lee asked, "Who are you my boys ?" They replied, "Texas boys!" Lee waved his hat in the air and yelled, "Hurrah for Texas ! Texans always move them." At that moment, the Texans launched a vicious counterattack against a Union assault that threatened to split Lee's army in two. At a frightful cost, the Texans blunted the Union attack and repaired the Confederate line. Gregg was later killed on October 7, 1864, leading an attack at the Battle of New Market Road near Richmond. Gregg's wife, Mary, drove a wagon through the opposing lines to claim her husband's body. She buried him at Aberdeen, Mississippi. Thirty years later Mary was buried next to her husband. Instead of having Mary Gregg engraved on her tombstone she had Mrs. General John Gregg engraved instead. Gregg County Texas is named after this distinguished combat officer.
William Polk "Gotch" Hardeman
William Polk Hardeman served Texas in either a military or government position longer than any other noted Texan. Born on November 4, 1816 in Williamson County, Tennessee, Hardeman migrated to Texas in 1835 and served in the Texas War for Independence. He later served with the Texas Rangers during the War with Mexico. During the Civil War, Hardeman served as a colonel in the 4th Texas Cavalry. At the battles of Valverde and Glorietta Pass, he served with distinction and helped fend off a Union attack at Albuquerque during the Confederate retreat from New Mexico. Hardeman served in the Red River Campaign and fled to Mexico for a brief period after the war. He returned to Texas and became a planter. Hardeman served as the Sergeant at Arms for the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Inspector of Railroads. He superintended the public buildings in Austin and the Confederate Soldier's Home. He died on April 8, 1898 and is buried in the State Cemetery at Austin.
John Bell Hood
Born on June 1, 1831, Kentucky native John Bell Hood rose to the top faster than any other Confederate officer, and fell tragically just as fast. After a distinguished U.S. Cavalry record battling Comanches, Hood resigned his commission to serve the Confederacy. While in command of the Texas Brigade, he gained fame and honors by breaking the Union line at the Battle of Gaines Mill; a victory that initiated a massive Federal retreat from the gates of Richmond. At Second Manassas, the Texas Brigade smashed the Union Army of Virginia's left flank, almost destroying the entire army. Such glory came at a price; he lost the use of an arm at Gettysburg and had a leg amputated at Chickamauga. He walked with the aid crutches and had to be strapped on to his saddle. Hood was promoted to lieutenant general after the Battle of Chickamauga then later replaced the vacillating General Joseph E. Johnston as Commander of the Army of Tennessee. Unrelenting attack was the cornerstone of Hood's tactics. Horrendous casualties ensued from reckless assaults outside Atlanta and he was forced to abandon the city to Sherman's army. Instead of defending the Confederate heartland against Sherman, he chose to march toward Tennessee with hopes of cutting the Union supply line. Disaster came at Franklin, Tennessee in November, 1864 where Hood's suicidal attack cost his army the lives of 6 generals and casualties of 6,252 men. After a tortured march, the pitiful remnants of his command were almost destroyed at Nashville. Hood resigned shortly afterwards. Death came on August 30, 1879 at New Orleans. He, his wife, and one of their eleven children were victims of yellow fever. Still highly thought of by his Texans, a Texas county and a U.S. Army fort were named after him.
Albert Sidney Johnston
History seems undecided on Albert Sidney Johnston, the highest ranking Texan in the Confederate Army. Was he a great commander who did well with the meager resources he was allotted or a poor one for improperly defending crucial areas of the Western Confederacy? Confederate President Jefferson Davis said, "If Albert Sydney Johnson is not a general, we have no general." Because of his early death at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, Johnston never had the time to develop into the great general he was capable of becoming. His fame is best served by what he did for Texas rather than what he did for the Confederacy. Enlisting as a private in the Texas Revolutionary Army in 1836, the Kentucky born Johnston rose to chief commander of the Texas Republic's army in one year. The general he replaced, Felix Huston, took exception to Johnston's promotion and challenged him to a duel. Johnston was wounded in the leg which would have grave repercussions for him later on. In 1838, he was appointed Secretary of War for the Republic of Texas. He and his wife settled on a plantation in Brazoria County to raise their 8 children. During the war with Mexico, Johnston served as colonel of the 1st Texas Rifles. In 1855, he led the U.S. 2nd Cavalry against the Comanches. Johnston led U.S. forces against the Mormons during the Utah War; a largely bloodless struggle resolved through negotiation. Afterwards, he became Commander of the Department of the Pacific. When the Southern states seceded, Johnston resigned his commission. He journeyed back to Texas and accepted a Confederate commission as Commander of the Western Department; an area that included all Confederate states west of the Allegheny Mountains. With only 40,000 men to defend such a vast area, disaster ensued with the loss of Fort Donnellson and Nashville. Johnston tried to recoup his losses with an all out attack on Union forces camped just east of the Tennessee River. During the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862, he was wounded in the same nerve damaged leg wounded during his duel with Huston; he bled to death. A life saving tourniquet was not applied since he dispatched his personal surgeon to assist other wounded. After injecting whiskey into Johnston's body to preserve it. It was transported to New Orleans where it was buried temporarily. After the war, it was reburied at the Texas State Cemetary.
Like Albert Sidney Johnston, Benjamin McCulloch also died early in the war, but what a career. Born on November 11, 1811 in Rutherford County, Tennessee, McCulloch followed his neighbor Davey Crockett into Texas. Because of illness, he fell behind and missed the Battle of the Alamo. In 1838, he joined the Texas Rangers and became a hardened, ferocious Indian fighter. McCulloch became an expert in scouting Comanches and Mexican troops. During the War with Mexico, he raised an elite company of rangers that could ride 250 miles or over within 10 days and penetrate deep behind Mexican lines. In one mission they came within one mile of General Santa Anna's tent. His expert reconnaissance, prior to the Battle of Buena Vista, saved the command of Zachary Taylor. After Texas seceded, McCulloch was commissioned a colonel and charged with forcing the surrender of Federal posts in Texas. He was later promoted to brigadier general in command of all Confederate troops in the Indian Territory and Western Arkansas. Disdaining the pomp and ceremony of such a high command, McCulloch refused to wear a uniform and donned a black velvet suit instead. At the Battle of Wilson's Creek near Springfield, Missouri, he teamed up with General Sterling Price's Missouri Guards and defeated Union troops under General Nathanial Lyon. McCulloch held Price's Missourians in the lowest regard, citing their lack of arms and discipline. Price, in turn, resented McCulloch's condescending attitude. To compensate for their differences, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed General Earl Van Dorn as overall commander of both armies. On March 7, 1862, at the Battle of Pea Ridge in Northwest Arkansas, Van Dorn conducted a poorly coordinated attack on Union forces under General Samuel Curtis. Instead of relying on subordinates, McCulloch liked to perform his own reconnaissance of enemy positions. Riding too close to the Union line, he was shot off his horse. Van Dorn was defeated and McCulloch's body was shipped back to Texas. He was and buried at the Texas State Cemetery.
John Bankhead Magruder
Though out of his element in the frontier environs of Texas. John Bankhead Magruder enjoyed his greatest success there. Referred to as "Prince John" because of his elaborate uniforms, theatrical bearing and lavish dinner parties, Magruder was born on May 1, 1807 in Port Royal, Virginia. He graduated from West Point in 1830 and was brevetted three times for meritorious conduct during the War with Mexico. During the Civil War's Peninsular Campaign, he distinguished himself by fooling General George McClellan into thinking the Confederate Army was much larger than his own forces at Yorktown. Magruder convinced McClellan that he was inferior in size and needed more reinforcements and heavier artillery. This caused excessive delays in McClellan's advance on Richmond and bought precious time for Confederate forces to assemble and launch a successful counter offensive. During the ensuing Seven Days Campaign, Magruder suffered from the criticism of General Robert E. Lee, who felt he was too slow on the attack. To make matters worse, some thought he was intoxicated during a disastrous battle at Malvern Hill. Such charges were later proved false but that didn't prevent his transfer to Texas. Upon arrival at his headquarters, Magruder was faced with a Union occupation of Galveston. After commandeering veteran Texas troops on their way to Louisiana, he attacked from both sea and land. The result was the recapture of a vital Texas port, dispersal of a Union blockading fleet and humiliation for the Union's Admiral Farragut. After the war, he fled to Mexico and served in the Imperial forces of Emperor Maximillian. He later returned to Houston and died there in poverty on February 18, 1871. He was buried in Galveston.
Samuel Bell Maxey
Kentuckian Samuel Bell Maxey was born on March 30, 1825 and graduated from West Point in 1846. After serving in the War with Mexico, he resigned and became a lawyer. He organized the 9th Texas Infantry and served under Albert Sidney Johnston in Kentucky. He served in the Vicksburg Campaign under General Joseph Johnston before being assigned one of the most thankless tasks in the Confederacy, command of the Indian Territory. Despite shortages of everything and an ever growing moral problem, Maxey managed to convince his Native American troops to continue the fight until the end of the war. Confederate troops under his trusted subordinate, Stand Watie, conducted successful guerilla operations in the Indian Territory. Because of Maxey, North Texas was never invaded by Union forces coming down from Kansas. After the war, he resumed his law practice in Paris, Texas. He died in Eureka Springs, Arkansas on August 16, 1895 and is buried in Paris. His impressive home in Paris is open today for public viewing.
Felix Huston Robertson
The only Texas born general in the Confederate Army and certainly one of its most controversial. Named after the man that shot Albert Sydney Johnston in a duel, Robertson was born at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 9, 1839. He attended Baylor University and West Point but resigned from the later to offer his services to the Confederacy. He became an artillery major under General Braxton Bragg. He was later promoted to brigadier general and became General Joseph Wheeler's chief of staff. Because of his swarthy looks and harsh discipline, Robertson was referred to as "Comanche" Robertson. He was also loyal to the unpopular Bragg; a sentiment that put him at odds with other officers in the Army of Tennessee. The real controversy came on October 3, 1864 at Saltville, Virginia. Troops under his command, including the notorious guerilla command of Champ Ferguson, massacred 100 wounded black troops. Robertson avoided prosecution after the war and returned to Texas. He became a lawyer and real estate investor. The last surviving Confederate general died on April 20, 1928 in Waco. He was buried at Oakwood Cemetery.
The father of Felix Huston Robertson was also a Confederate general. Born on March 14, 1815, in Woodford County, Robertson moved to Texas in 1836. He served as a captain in the Texas army during the revolution and set up a medical practice after the war. He also served in the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate. When the Civil War began, he commanded the 5th Texas regiment and served with distinction in Hood's Texas Brigade. Because of the concern he had for his men, he was referred to as "Aunt Polly." A moniker that certainly wouldn't have applied to his son. Robertson became commander of the Texas Brigade after John Bell Hood was promoted. His greatest triumph was at Gettysburg where the Texas Brigade captured the heavily fought over "Devil's Den." His career to took a nose dive during the ill-fated Knoxville Campaign. General James Longstreet blamed Robertson for the lack of success. He was relieved of command and sent back to Texas to command the state reserve forces. He resumed his medical practice after the war in Independence, Texas. Robertson died on January 7, 1894 and was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Waco.
Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross
The most respected and most liked of all Texas Confederate generals had to be Sul Ross. Born in Bentonsport, Iowa on September 27, 1838, Lawrence Sullivan Ross attended Baylor University and Wesleyan University in Florence, Alabama. After graduating from Wesleyan in 1859, he joined the Texas Rangers. At the Battle of Pease River, he commanded the rangers that recovered the long missing Cynthia Ann Parker, the mother of Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. Ross' fame soared from there. During the Civil War, he commanded the 6th Texas Cavalry and served with Ben McCulloch in Arkansas and Earl Van Dorn in Mississippi. At Hatchie's Bridge, he held off three assaults by 7,000 Union troops with 700 men for three hours. In December, 1863, he was promoted to brigadier general and commanded a brigade of Texas cavalrymen known collectively as the Sul Ross Brigade. They fought in 86 skirmishes during the Atlanta campaign. During the Franklin and Nashville campaigns in Tennessee, Ross' brigade captured 550 prisoners and hundreds of horses. After the war, Ross and his wife raised eight children on their farm near Waco. He also served as Sheriff of McClellan county, a state senator, and a two term governor of Texas. Starting in 1891, Ross served as President of Texas A&M University for seven and a half years . Many of Texas A&M's customs, such as the Texas and Texas A&M football rivalry, the senior ring, and the school newspaper, "The Battalion" were initiated by Ross. Upon his death on January 3, 1898, the entire Texas A& M student body accompanied his body back to Waco. An honor guard of Confederate veterans in gray uniforms were present during Ross's burial at Oakwood Cemetery. Sul Ross State University in Alpine was named after him.
William "Dirty Shirt" Scurry
Born on February 10, 1821 in Gallatin, Tennessee, William Scurry served as Red River County's state representative in the Republic of Texas Congress. An ardent supporter of annexation by the U.S., Scurry traveled all over Texas arguing for its support. Because of his dirty garments from traveling by horseback, he was given the sobriquet "Dirty Shirt." He served as a major of the Texas Mounted Volunteers during the War with Mexico and was an owner of the Austin State Gazette newspaper. Scurry became a distinguished colonel of the 4th Texas Cavalry during the New Mexico Campaign. Because of General John Sibley's persistent drunkenness, Scurry often command in his place. He effectively led Confederate forces at Glorietta Pass where he won the field but lost his supply train from an attack to his rear. The loss forced Confederate forces to retreat from New Mexico. He commanded land forces at Galveston and played a major role in its recapture. On April 30, 1864, he was killed at the Battle of Jenkins Ferry in Arkansas, part of the Confederacy's successful repulse of Union forces during the Red River Campaign. He was buried at the State Cemetery in Austin. Scurry County was named in his honor.
Henry Hopkins Sibley
Without a doubt, the worst general to command Texas troops during the Civil War was Henry Hopkins Sibley. Born on May 25, 1816 in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Sibley graduated from West Point and served extensively in the Seminole War, the Utah War and the War with Mexico. On the same day he was promoted to major of the 1st U.S. Dragoons, he resigned his commission to serve the Confederacy. Convincing Jefferson Davis that invading New Mexico would assure the Confederacy of mineral- rich Western territories, he was commissioned a brigadier general. After assembling his command at San Antonio, Sibley led three Texas cavalry regiments west to El Paso then north toward Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sibley's addiction to the bottle often led to his subordinates commanding his troops rather than himself. The end came at the Battle of Glorietta Pass when Union troops destroyed his supply wagons, leaving little to sustain his invasion. The Texans were forced to retreat across West Texas where many perished from malnourishment and heat exhaustion. Sibley's career began a downward spiral from there. While serving in Louisiana, he was ordered court martialed by General Richard Taylor for his drinking and incompetence. Although acquitted, Sibley lost his command. After the war, he served in Egypt as a general of artillery for the Khedive's army. Once again, his drinking led to his dismissal. Now in poverty, he returned to the U.S. and lived with his daughter in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His only noteworthy accomplishment was the invention of a conical army tent. Known as the Sibley tent, its design was based on a Plains Indian tepee. He died on August 23, 1886 and was buried in Fredericksburg.
John George Walker
John George Walker was born on July 22, 1822 in Cole County, Missouri. He served as a captain in the U.S, Army during the War with Mexico. He resigned in 1861 and offered his services to the Confederacy. He was promoted to major general on November 9, 1862. Walker provided exemplary service during the Maryland Campaign of 1862. He was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department and assumed command of the Texas Infantry Division; a command that would be referred to as "Walker's Greyhounds" because of their remarkable long rapid marches . At the Battle of Mansfield, the "Greyhounds" played a crucial role in flanking General Nathanial Banks' Union forces and routing them off the field. After the war, Walker fled to England with his family. He became an agent of the Venezuela Company that promoted settlement and mining operations in that country. He returned to the U.S. in 1868 and became an agent for the Texas Pacific Railway. President Grover Cleveland appointed him U.S. Consul General at Bogota, Columbia. On July 20, 1893, he died of a stroke in Washington D.C. and is buried in Winchester, Virginia.
A little known general with a whole lot of fight. Born on January 5, 1813, in Sumter District, South Carolina, Thomas Neville Waul established a plantation in Gonzales County, Texas prior to the war. In 1861, he served in the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy. He later recruited Waul's Texas Legion and served as its colonel. The only legion to be formed in Texas, it consisted of infantry, cavalry and artillery units. At Vicksburg, Waul put up a stout defensive line. A vicious counterattack by Waul's Legion sealed a gaping hole in the Confederate line formed by a massive Union assault. Waul was later exchanged after Vicksburg's surrender then served as a brigadier general during the Red River Campaign. After the war, he practiced law in Galveston then retired to a farm near Greenville, Texas. He died on July 2, 1903 at the age of 95 and is buried in Fort Worth.
Born on July 3, 1828 in Nashville, Tennessee, John Austin Wharton practiced law in Brazoria, Texas. When the war began, he joined the famed 8th Texas Cavalry (Terry's Texas Rangers) under Benjamin F. Terry. After Terry's untimely death during a cavalry charge, Wharton assumed command of the Rangers and led them to the stellar success they enjoyed in Kentucky and Tennessee. Their reputation alone made them one of the most feared units in the Confederate Army. After serving under Joseph Wheeler and Nathan Bedford Forrest, he rose to the rank of major general and assigned to command General Richard Taylor's cavalry in the Trans-Mississippi. On April 6, 1864, Wharton got into a heated quarrel with Colonel George Baylor of the 2nd Texas Cavalry in a Houston hotel room. Wharton slapped Baylor's face whereupon Baylor pulled out a pistol and shot Wharton dead. Considered self-defense, Baylor was not prosecuted even though Wharton was unarmed. Wharton was buried in Austin.
William Hugh Young
No Texas general suffered more physically during the Civil War than William Hugh Young. Born on January 1, 1838 in Booneville, Missouri, Young grew up in Grayson County, Texas. He attended the University of Virginia but returned to Texas to a recruit an infantry company for the 9th Texas. He served with distinction at Perryville, Vicksburg, and Chickamauga but was wounded in all three campaigns. At Kennesaw Mountain, he was wounded twice but continued to command. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1864. During an attack on a Federal fort at Allatoona, Georgia , Young had his foot shot off. He spent an entire year at the notorious Johnson Island prison camp trying to survive . The prisoners suffered horribly from malnourishment and exposure. After the war, he became a lawyer and real estate agent in San Antonio. He died on November 28, 1901 and was buried in San Antonio's Confederate Cemetery.
North Texas During the Civil War
At the beginning of the Civil war, the biggest threat to North Texas was not Union invasion, but its long time nemesis, the Comanches. Since the Spanish colonial period, the Comanches dominated the western half of Texas. Known as “the Lords of the Plains,” they had no equals in horsemanship. Comanche bands raided far into Northern Mexico for horses and captives, destroying whole villages in the process. In return for arms, they established a successful trade in horses, mules, and buffalo hides with New Mexican traders known as Comancheros.
As Anglo settlers moved west during the mid 1800's, they began encroaching on Comanche hunting grounds. The Comanches responded by raiding their homesteads. After Texas became an independent republic, attempts were made to forge a lasting peace, but with little to no success. Texas relied on an underfunded and undermanned militia system to protect its frontier settlements. Armed with five-shot Colt revolvers, these “Texas Rangers” had limited success in repulsing the Comanche onslaught. The U.S. Army took over defensive duties after Texas became a state. A line of forts was constructed from the Red River to the Rio Grande to defend the eastern half of the state. The famed U.S. 2nd Cavalry patrolled North Texas and the Indian Territory to prevent Comanche raids. Disease, war, and the depletion of buffalo herds devastated the Comanche population, They were forced on to reservations north of the Red River in the Indian Territory. Unfortunately, the raids still continued.
After Texas seceded from the Union, the U.S. Army surrendered their forts to Texas state forces. To replace the U.S. Army, the Texas Legislature authorized the formation of a frontier regiment in December, 1861. Consisting of nine companies of 115 to 125 men each, the Frontier Regiment patrolled the boundary between the eastern and western halves of Texas. Logistics, substandard weapons, and an inexperienced commander plagued the regiment from the start. Former merchant, Colonel James Norris, resorted to a series of court-martials to enforce discipline but only added to his unpopularity. He established a rigid patrol system that had little effect in deterring Indian raids. The Comanches picked up on the regiment’s overly routine patrols, and then slipped past them unobserved. On remote settlements, North Texans “forted up” by surrounding their homes with palisades. Others abandoned their homes altogether and moved east to more secure, populated areas. On December 21, 1863, three hundred Comanches crossed the Red River and entered Montague County. Heading east, they burned three homes and killed four people. The terrified inhabitants of Cooke County tracked the Comanches approach by observing smoke pillars from burning homes. Units of the Frontier Regiment, under Captain John T. Rowland, chased the Indians across the Red River, but not before nine more civilians were killed and thirteen were taken captive. Norris was replaced with the more capable James E. McCord. Along with his able subordinate, Lt. Col. James B. “Buck” Barry, McCord initiated broad, sweeping patrols along Indian approach routes. As a result, a number of raiding parties were intercepted before reaching the settlements. Texas Governor Francis Lubbock hoped the Confederate Government would shoulder the defensive burden and accept the Frontier Regiment into Confederate Service. President Jefferson Davis refused acceptance because the Texas Legislature demanded the regiment stay in Texas and not be shipped off to a distant state. Nevertheless, the lack of state funds led to the transfer of the Frontier Regiment to Confederate command on March 1, 1864.
After the Frontier Regiment’s transfer, a second defensive plan was adopted by the Texas Legislature, the Frontier Organization. Under this plan, only residents of counties that bordered the frontier could enroll. Each company within the organization would have no fewer than 25 men and no more than 65 men. The organization was organized into 3 districts. North Texas was included in the 1st Frontier District commanded by William Quayle. A former sea captain, the ailing Quayle came to Texas for the warm climate. Upon his appointment, he set up his headquarters in Decatur. Lacking in manpower, the Frontier Organization was purely a defensive force and had limited ability to conduct offensive operations. To make matters worse, a new threat emerged: army deserters and draft evaders.
Despite a 3 to 1 statewide vote to secede, many North Texans were opposed to secession. To avoid Confederate service, many joined local militia units to defend their homes against Indians. After the passage of the Conscription Act, they took to the brush to avoid the draft and congregated in armed camps. The largest camp was in Collin County under the leadership of Henry Boren, a desperate character with Unionist ties. General Henry McCulloch of the Texas Northern Sub District tried a soft approach to entice the “Brush Men” into service. He offered them amnesty and used them to create a separate frontier unit. “Soft words are better than hard ones to bring the young ones back into duty,” he said. Christened the “Brush Battalion,” it augmented the Frontier Organization in the defense of North Texas. Desertions and lack of discipline, however, forced McCulloch to disband the battalion. A frustrated McCulloch remarked, “I have never been in a country where the people were so perfectly worthless and cowardly as here.”
A harder approach was utilized by the Border Regiment commanded by Colonel James Bourland. Unlike the Frontier Organization, Bourland’s regiment was under the Confederate command of General Douglas Cooper in the Indian Territory. Known as “The Hangman of Texas” for his role in the Gainesville hangings, Bourland was merciless toward Union sympathizers and had no compunction about shooting them. According to one observer, “Bourland was a good fighter and a good hater.” Despite their best efforts, Confederate authorities never gained the upper hand on the “Brush Men."
Like most Texans, North Texas Confederate units had a deep disdain for infantry; marching was considered dishonorable. Because of the lack of infantry in the Trans-Mississippi Theater, some of the North Texas cavalry regiments were forced to dismount. Their greatest acheivements came in Arkansas during the Red River Campaign and the Indian Territory during the 2nd Battle of Cabin Creek. Under the command of General Richard Gano, the 5th Texas Cavalry Battalion captured an entire Union wagon train of more than 300 wagons and worth 2 million dollars.