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Chapter 2 The Regiment is Reorganized

Thomas Reid University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 2

The Regiment is Reorganized

★★★

“Most of the boys seem to enjoy them selves fine.”

—Lt. Andrew Smyth1

Early in May 1862, the soldiers of the 13th Texas Cavalry learned that the Confederate Congress had passed the Conscription Act on

April 16, 1862. The timing of the Act, one week after the huge losses at Shiloh, also followed declining enlistments. This law made all white males between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five subject to military conscription. Those under eighteen or over thirty-five were exempt from service but could voluntarily become substitutes for someone of eligible age. Existing units were required to discharge exempted soldiers and then “reorganize” with new elections being held for company and regimental officers. Discharged soldiers could not participate in the elections, but they could be kept on active duty for ninety days if the unit was at less than full strength.2

The Act had a number of very negative consequences for the

13th Cavalry. Virtually all the enlisted soldiers with combat experience in the Mexican War were lost because of their age. Many family units, which had a stabilizing influence on the organization, were separated. The Confederacy sent an unfortunate and inaccurate

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Appendix B: Organization of Walker’s Division, April 1864

Thomas Reid University of North Texas Press PDF
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Appendix D: Rosters of Soldiers by Company

Thomas Reid University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix D

Roster of Soldiers by Company

★★★

Roster of Company A, Leon County,

first commanded by Captain Jerome N. Black

Autry. William C.

Ayres. Joseph F.

Bain, W.H.

Baldwin. Hart M.

Baldwin, James A.

Barnes, William P.

Bennick, Jacob J., Sgt.

Black, Jerome N. Capt.

Black, William F., Cpl.

Blackledge, Alexander C.

Blassingame, George W.

Better, Andrew Winston

Brown, John, Cpl.

Brown, John P.

Brown, William H.

Brubaker, J. Curry, Asst. Surg.

Bryan,Thomas L.

Cessna, John D., Cpl.

Clark, Jesse W.

Clark, Oliver P.

Coleman, William Wallace, 1st Sgt.

Davis, George W.

Davis, James I.

Davis, John

Davis, Nathan L.

Dickey, John R.

Dickey, William

Driscol, David A.

Driscol, Ephraim C.

Driskett, David A.

Durst, Bruno, 2nd Lt.

Durst, Horatio W., Jr. 2nd Lt.

Durst, William E., Sgt.

Evans, Isaac G.

Fosket, William H.

Frost, Chafin

Gilchrist, Zedrick

Gillespie, Joseph

Glover, William Y., Sgt.

Greene, James G.

Hall, James

Herring, Thomas W.

Inman, Rufus

Jettund, William, 1st Sgt.

Johnson, Lovet B.

Kidd, Albert A.

Kidd, James E.

Long, James

Long, Levi G.

Long, William

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Chapter 7 Long Road to Mansfield

Thomas Reid University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 7

Long Road to Mansfield

★★★

“Aim low boys, and trust in God.”

—Maj. Gen. John G. Walker1

The stillness of Camp Rogers, and indeed of all of Avoyelles Parish, was shattered on Sunday, March 13, 1864. The enemy had landed, and was on the march from Simmesport. As the division wagon trains were loaded and moved toward Cheneyville, the 13th Texas and Waul’s first brigade quickly marched to reinforce the bridges on the primary avenue of approach.2 General Scurry’s third brigade was stationed the farthest forward, near Yellow Bayou, four miles west of Simmesport. After determining the overwhelming strength of the invasion force, Scurry withdrew to the long bridge on Bout de Bayou, ten miles east of Marksville on the Simmesport road. The 13th Texas and the other regiments of Waul’s first brigade marched as far as Scurry’s position, but were ordered four miles back and placed in reserve between Scurry’s brigade and Randal’s second brigade, which was guarding the bridge on Bayou de Lac, eight miles from Bout de Bayou. An unusually dry winter had turned the swamps, normally a natural barrier to Union movements, into solid ground, converting a maze of natural defensive wetlands into a broad field of battle, surrounded by major watercourses; the only exit for Walker’s Division was the bridge on Bayou de Lac.3

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Chapter 5 The Vicksburg Campaign

Thomas Reid University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 5

The Vicksburg Campaign

★★★

“The damned old Arkansas never did have anything in it.”

—Col. John H. Burnett1

Once settled at Camp Mills, General Walker ordered that each company in the division could grant leave to two soldiers. Captains were authorized to grant the fortunate soldiers leave for forty-five days on Wednesday, February 4. Many others were granted sixty days sick leave by medical authorities in January and February 1863.

Some improvements were noted, the first being the weather, which became clear and warmer. Newer tents, blankets, and shoes were issued from the depot at Little Rock. The roads passing through

Camp Mills became so muddy and degraded by heavy traffic that they were a constant problem for teamsters bringing supplies to the regiments. A better site for the camp was identified four miles northwest of Pine Bluff and the division relocated from Camp Mills to Camp Wright on February 9, 1863. Many of the extreme physical adversities they had experienced over the past four months seemed to be behind them. The camp’s fields were described by Blessington as, “covered over with white tents, arranged with street-like precision, with regiments or battalions on parade or review, with martial music echoing along the riverbank, from splendid bands . . .

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