Between the Enemy and Texas
Parsons's Texas Cavalry in the Civil War
Publication Year: 2013
Historian Anne J. Bailey studies one Texas unit, Parsons's Cavalry Brigade, to show how the war west of the Mississippi was fought. Historian Norman D. Brown calls this “the definitive study of Parsons's Cavalry Brigade; the story will not need to be told again.” Exhaustively researched and written with literary grace, Between the Enemy and Texas is a “must” book for anyone interested in the role of mounted troops in the Trans-Mississippi Department.
Published by: TCU Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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...already in print one might assume that another could not provide any thing new or significant. This is not completely true. When I first be came interested in the conflict I wanted to learn more about the participa tion of Texas troops, particularly those who served on the west side of the Mississippi River. I soon discovered that there were few publications ...
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Historians analyzing the Ameri can Civil War tend to ignore the vast area west of the Mississippi River. Military actions in the Trans-Mississippi Department (Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, most of Louisiana, the Indian Territory or modern day Oklahoma, and parts of present-day New Mexico and Arizona) did not alter the outcome of the conflict; after the fall of Vicksburg the re ...
1. "A Healthy Bunch of Scrappers"
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...~ he campaigns fought west of the Mississippi River seemed "small indeed by comparison with the more imposing and dramatic events of the far east," asserted William Henry Parsons, "but momentous in results to the fortunes of [the] Trans-Mississippi department, and especially to the fate of Texas. "I As he astutely pointed out, "Our lines once broken, whether on the Missis ...
2. A Fightin' Preacher and His Unruly Flock
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A Parsons's troops rode out of Texas, events far from their homes were helping to shape other units that would eventually join Parsons's brigade. "All we hear is the call for more troops, more troops, war, war, war," wrote Susan Anna Good from Dallas to her husband John Jay Good, captain of a Texas bat tery stationed in Arkansas, in April 1862. "God only knows when it will ...
3. "If You Want to Have a Good Time Gine the Cavalry"
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...of the Seventeenth Texas lO his wife in July 1862. The men " unani mously objected," he observed, " but under the circumstances we could doo no better- our horses was starving for feed-scarcely half of them being fit for duty."l Certainly forage gave out quickly as hundreds of troops arrived daily in Arkansas; the Confederate authorities had no ...
4. "The Yankees Are as Afraid as Death of the Texans"
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Checking the Federal advance toward Little Rock in 1862 seemed "small indeed by com-parison with the more imposing and dramatic events of the far east," noted William H. Parsons, "but momentous in results II to the security of the Trans-Mississippi Department. 1 Not only was the possession of Arkansas at stake, declared Parsons, "but for immediate results to the ...
5. The Swamp Fox Regiment
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William H. Parsons, "and the ascending fleet of iron-clads and transports under Colonel [G. N.] Fitch, a base of operations would at once have been established on White river within forty miles of the Capitol of the state, with an all rail prairie route to this heart of the valley of the Arkan sas. "1 The combined forces could have occupied the fertile lowland of the ...
6. "They Don't Like Our Mode of Fighting"
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...editor of the Houston Telegraph in the autumn of 1862. "He rarely ever has an encounter with the 'Feds' but what he puts them to flight. He is frequently down within a few miles of Helena, and is continually cutting off the enemy's foraging parties and driving in their pickets." 1 The Dallas Herald also cautioned that the Yankees entrenched behind their ...
7. The Race to Arkansas Post
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..."Night before last we received orders to take up the line of march for Hindman's army. Yesterday was spent in making preparations for the trip but last night the order was countermanded." 1 Holmes had planned to send Parsons's brigade to reinforce the Confederates retreating from Prairie Grove, but he abruptly changed his mind. A Federal army was ...
8. Off to Missouri
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Athe situation in Arkansas wors ened with Hindman's retreat from Prairie Grove in December 1862 and the surrender of Arkansas Post in January 186), Confederates felt disheartened. Secretary of War James A. Seddon observed in March that "the most deplorable accounts reach the department of the disorder, con fusion, and demoralization everywhere prevalent, both with the armies ...
9. "To Strike a Blow for Vicksburg"
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In June 1863 Theophilus H. Holmes in Arkansas received instructions from Edmund Kirby Smith, com-mander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, to operate "a cavalry force, at least a brigade, on the Mississippi River, as low down as Lake Providence." Kirby Smith believed the situation in Louisiana required immediate action by all his district commanders. "There are many plan ...
10. The Loss of Arkansas
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...the 4th and 8th of July, respectively," wrote Major General John M. Schofield, commanding the Department of the Missouri, "opened the way for active operations in Arkansas, and enabled General Grant to re turn to me the troops I had sent him." 1 This turn of events was a setback to the Confederates in Arkansas. As Schofield's command increased, the ...
11. Whiskey and Gunpowder Aren't "Necessary to Enable a Southron to Make a Charge"
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A1864 opened, Henry W. Halleck in Washington watched the gene sis of one of his long-cherished ideas-an invasion of Texas by way of the Red River. He believed a combined army and navy expedition to Alexandria, then Shreveport, would open the fertile regions of North Texas. Although Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, who oversaw the Department of the Gulf, had been ...
12. The Road to Yellow Bayou
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E acing "ten and often twenty times their number," wrote Colonel William Parsons in his official report of the campaign down the Red River, "the world never witnessed such fights as those [of the] rebel troops who hung with such dogged valor" upon the rear of the Federal army and navy. From the time David Porter joined Nathaniel Banks at Grand Ecore until their ...
13. The Last Year
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...lowing year," wrote Richard Taylor, "not a shot was fired in the 'Trans Mississippi Department. ,,11 Although this statement is incorrect, it re flects the prevailing attitude in the last year of the war as well as current opinion among many historians. Events west of the Mississippi had little bearing on the ultimate outcome; operations in Virginia and Tennessee ...
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...~ he war was not won or lost in the Trans-Mississippi, but the re gion's importance should not be ignored. Fighting west of the Mississippi was different from the other theaters, but the men who served on the "other side" of the river shared a common heritage with other Confederate soldiers: they were typical Southerners who fought with a reckless bravery that again and again im ...
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About the Author
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Anne 1. Bailey, a native of Cleburne, Texas. was graduated from ...
Page Count: 358
Publication Year: 2013