Introduction of us
Different standards
Rules of Engagement for Mounted Troops
The Challenge

Standing Orders

Continued...Part 12

A near disaster

On August 10th, General Wheeler was ordered to leave Hood’s Army of Tennessee on orders from Hood and to raid the Yankee supply trains. This left the remainder of Hood’s Cavalry forces to be the eyes and ears of the army and supplement his fighting forces in a kind of double duty. While on picket duty of August 10, 1864. Union Cavalry General Kilpatrick hit Ross’s Texas Brigade in force. They crashed through the pickets of the 6th Texas Cavalry near Camp creek. The 3rd was hit further down by early morning as they crossed the tracks at Fairborn. Here Ferguson’s brigade near the Flint River joined the Texans. The brigade was beaten back and by days end was only 18 miles south of the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

On the morning of the 20th, Union General Kilpatrick’s cavalry was now facing an Arkansas infantry brigade that had dug itself in to defend the railroad at Love Joy station. Pursuing them and now behind them were the four hundred horsemen of Ross’s Cavalry Brigade. Caught between the Arkansas and the Texans, three regiments of Kilpatricks Cavalry drew sabers and charged the cavalry hitting the 3rd Texas Cavalry Regiment. The 3rd Texas quickly dismounted and formed a firing line. They fired volley’s hoping to halt them and then with drew to their horses. The failed to make to their horses before the Union Cavalry rode over Ross’s brigade and scattered men and horses. Thought to have decimated Ross’s brigade Kilpatrick soon learned that though it appeared to be a rout, which it was not. The Union troops following up on the charge were to be hampered by a huge deluge of rain. The skies opened up and visibility was reduced to almost zero. This caused a total victory for the Federal Cavalry to be lost. Unfortunately the 3rd Texas was hit the hardest and lost three company commanders, four lieutenants, two sergeants, three corporals and eleven privates killed or captured.The captured officers were sent to Johnson’s Island on Lake Erie and the enlisted men were sent to Camp Chase near Columbus Ohio. A number of the 3rd Texas Cavalry failed to survive the Camp Chase interment. Several died from chronic diarrhea and bronchitis. The remainder of the captured officers and men of the 3rd Texas were furrowed and allowed to go home in May and June of 1865.

Atlanta Falls

On the night of September 1st the 3rd Texas Cavalry watched from east of Jonesbourogh as Atlanta was put to flames and Hood’s Army of Tennessee burned all they could to keep it from falling to the Yankees and then withdrew from the city. As the Yankee army occupied the city of Atlanta on September 2nd, the 3rd Texas Cavalry was ordered to assemble at Lovejoy’s station with the remainder of the Army of Tennessee. The 3rd Texas as well as the whole of Ross’s brigade was now down sufficiently enough to have to be reorganized and adjusted according to their numbers. The four regiments of Cavalry that were once organized with ten companies each were now to see their companies consolidated to five companies per a regiment. This left a surplus of a dozen or so officers who were assigned as scouts until their duties were needed again within the structure of the regiments. This seems to please all concerned.

General Nathan Bedford Forrest
commands the cavalry

From October through November the Ross’s brigade was at first in front of the Army of Tennessee and then as the rear guard. They had several skirmishes with the enemy and remain part of the eyes and ears of the army. Hood army march slowly toward Nashville. He had some 37,000 men and was soon to face well over 62,000 plus estimated to be before him. Ross’s brigade was down to 686 men and the 3rd Texas composed 218 of them. General Nathan Bedford Forrest was now assigned as Cavalry commander and had brought with him some 3,500 cavalrymen out of western Tennessee. The weather was cold and sleet was falling. Clothing was short and even some of the officers were without boots or shoes.

General Nathan Bedford Forrest was born on July 13, 1821 in Duck River County in Middle Tennessee. He joined the Tennessee Mounted Rifles as a private. He soon decided to equipped his own cavalry force and paid for it out of his own pocket. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1862. He was arguably the finest cavalry tactician of either side during Civil War though he had no formal military training.
He rose through the ranks to Major General and then Lieutenant General. He has great loyalty to the South but little to Generals he considered incompetent of whom he found several. He threatened to kill General Braxton Bragg as he thought him incompetent. Bragg believed him and kept him at a safe distance. He had 26 horses shot from under him and was absolutely fearless. His men either loved him or hated him. He rose in popularity in the South as one of their greatest Generals. He was referred to by the Union Generals as "That Devil Forrest" He was well respected as a General on both sides. After the war he was unsuccessful in business. He fell ill and very sick in 1877. Former President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis went visit him and is said to have been visible shaken at his death on October 29, 1877. Much has been written of this man and he remains as controversial a figure today as he was during his lifetime.

A skirmished ensued on November 24 where the 3rd Texas Cavalry attacked an enemy column that was on foot. Ross’s then took a portion of the Texas brigade and flanked the column and ordered the 3rd Texas hit in the rear. The Union commander was caught in a classic cavalry pincer movement and was forced to withdraw leaving 80 previously captured confederate prisoners and many supplies such as overcoats, blankets and beef. The Texas Brigade lost five men in the skirmish.

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