The History of The 3rd TEXAS Cavalry
1861 - 1865
was eager to get into the war, and General Ben McCulloch was
raising a ten thousand-man force. He was calling for Texans
to form a cavalry regiment, post haste, to join him at Fort
Smith, Arkansas. A regiment of Texas cavalry was soon formed
from east Texas and these boys were jubilant to join this
famed Texan. They were being formed to combat a threat, or
at least a believed threat, from Kansas and, in what then
was called, Indian Territory. It was believed that northern
sympathizers were going to spur people on, in Kansas and Missouri,
into anti-slavery guerrillas. It was also feared that some
of the Indians would be persuaded to join northern sympathizers.
The Confederate government was convinced that the Jayhawkers
were going to attack through Indian country. Thus, General
McCulloch called for regiments of cavalry to join his force.
There were several other cavalry regiments being form that
would soon join this group. The "3rd" was the first
to leave Texas.
McCulloch had come to Texas
with Davey Crockett. He has fought for Texas independence
and was a veteran of the battle of San Jacinto and commanded
one of the famous twin sister cannons. He had served as
a Texas Ranger and led a contingent of Texans in the War
with Mexico in 1847. He was a hardened Indian fighter.
He had been a US Marshal, a Texas Legislator, and lead
a group of Texans to force the Federal garrison at the
Alamo to surrender themselves to the newly formed Confederacy
of the State of Texas. He was the embodiment of Texas.
He was a "Texas legend" in his own time.
3rd Texas Regiment was mustered into service in June of 1861
in Dallas, Texas. The Commanding Officers were Col. E. B.
Greer, Lt. Col. W.P. Lane, and Major C.W. Chilton.
There were a total of 1097 mustered to fight. They were ready
to enter the fight. They went well supplied for war. A train
shipment of three-dozen freight-wagons arrived for them from
San Antonio. This was part of the US arms stores that had
been captured from General Twiggs, which McCulloch had demanded
and received, at the surrender of the Federal garrison housed
in the Alamo some months before. The train cars full of supplies
included 4 six-pound cannons, the caissons, and the mules
to pull them. The regiment was now armed with 1547 pistols,
226 Shotguns, 352 Long arms, 100 assorted
carbines and 52 Sharps carbines.
were held, and the Company Commanders were settled upon. They
Company A: Captain Thomas W.
Winston, Eastern Harrison Co, Texas
Company B: Captain Robert H. Cumby, Rusk County
Company C: Captain Francis M. Taylor, Cherokee County
Company D: Captain Stephen M. Hale, Hunt & Fannin Counties
Company E: Captain Daniel M. Short, San Augustine & Shelby
Company F: Captain Isham Chism, Kauffman & Dallas Counties
Company G: Captain Hinche P. Mabry, Jefferson County
Company H: Captain Jonathan L. Russell, Upshur County
Company I: Captain John Author Bryan, Cass County
Company K: Captain David Y Gains, Smith County
Brackin Greer was born in Paris,
Tennessee on October 11, 1825. He fought in the Mexican
War of 1847 with the 1st Mississippi Rifles. In 1848,
he moved to Marshal, Texas. Greer was the first Colonel
of the 3rd Texas Cavalry and by wars end had obtain the
rank of Brigadier General. He died on March 25, 1877.
E. B. Greer`s Cavalry Regiment, as the 3rd Texas Cavalry was
known in the beginning, was the first Texas cavalry regiment
to be mustered for out-of-state service. This regiment of
Texas cavalry was not yet known as the 3rd Texas Cavalry.
Richmond had not assigned numbers to its Confederate volunteer
cavalry from Texas. The unit was officially sworn in on June
13, 1861. It soon headed toward the border of Texas and planning
to join General McCulloch at Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Their first journey was to take them through Indian Territory,
which comprised the present state of Oklahoma and was home
to some 56,000 members of the Five Civilized Tribes (Nations).
These tribes were the Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks
and Seminoles. These tribes had also settled in Arkansas and
parts of the Ozarks, which included portions of Missouri.
The Confederate government had entered into negotiations with
the various tribes and had encouraged the formation of four
Native American cavalry regiments to fight for the South.
The 3rd Texas traveled on what was known as the Texas road
into the Choctaw Nation. When they arrived at Boggy Creek,
they set up camp. On July 19th, two Choctaw ladies presented
the unit with a regimental flag. The Choctaw put on a show
for them in their honor and, "One thousand tawny sons
of the prairie drawn up in a vast circle?heavy, whirling,
racing round and round, singing, yelling the war whoop, firing
pistols, all wild and delirious with excitement."
here to view a map of the Indian Territory
The regiment continued on its journey and arrived at Fort
Smith on July 27th. There, they discovered that General McCulloch
had left toward Missouri and that they were to proceed post
haste to join them.
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