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  • Texas Cavalry

    As I portray Texas Cavalry, I am always trying to see what the trooper's uniform and gear looked like, and I would like any help and tips from the community.
    I basically would love to know (in detail) what was normal for Texas cavalry, mounted and dismounted. Gear, clothing, food, equipment, weapons, etc. I'm still fairly new to the hobby, so any info, even the basics, is appreciated.
    Ben Beckman

    17 and been a living historian for 2 years. New to this side of the hobby, always looking for events to go to.

  • #2
    Re: Texas Cavalry

    Well, my gguncle was with the 15th Texas Cavalry, the were Dismounted for Arkansas Post and were mainly in civilian attire from what I've gathered. maybe some odd assortments of some Federal items from the San Antonio Depot 'liberated' when the Federal forces vacated. Good book to read is 'All Afire to Fight:: The Untold Tale Of The Civil War's Ninth Texas Cavalry". The author has more information from other Texas units as well. There's several different men from other units mentioned. But, Dismounted were equipped and uniformed as Infantry. I'm still trying to find more information about my ancestor, on his papers he's getting paid for use of 'horse and tack'. I've also got family that was with the 27th Texas Cavalry, mounted...if memory serves me correctly. One of them became disabled and became a wagon master for the unit. Seems like all my kin at some point were wounded/captured and paroled! LOL

    V/R
    Al Martin
    Campaigner stuck in mainstream...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Texas Cavalry

      A great resource is “Confederate Cavalry West of the River” by Stephen B. Oates, 1961.

      Uniforms for the Texas Cavalry were a mixture of Civilian, Confederate and Union Uniforms.

      The Prison in Huntsville produced Uniforms and Tents for the Confederacy, but they lacked dye, so the Trousers and Jackets were issue as White. After a few days in battle though, they were no longer white.

      As the rest of the Southern Cavalry had their uniforms trimmed in Yellow, the Texans preferred Red. So much so, one of the items they loved to get their hands on were Union Artillery Blue Trousers for they had a Red Strip. The down side is, if you are captured wearing Artillery Trousers, they would hang you as a spy.

      Coats or Jackets of every variety, Frock, Sack, Shell, being made of Wool or Jean Wool and of every color there was. Great Coat on the other hand, very few were ever made in Confederate Grey. Most Coats were either Union Captured or Civilian Style. And again, captured wearing a Union Great Coat would get you hung.

      Footwear too is of all shapes and types. Stove Top Cavalry Boots, Short Top Boots, Low Quarter Shoes “Pumps” and even Moccasins.

      Now as for food, it varied more then the Uniforms. From the above mentioned book it states, “ When the infrequent supply trains did make it to the front, the men would receive plenty of salt or dried meat, flour or corn meal, desiccated vegetables, fresh potatoes, and molasses, soap and candles.” Pg.56

      For Arms, Texas Cavalry were not fond of the Sabers therefore it is rare for a Trooper to carry one. Texans preferred their Bowie Knives to Swords. Pistols of every kind were carried, four on your person and two in Pommel Holsters. A Carbine or the most popular Sawed Off Shotgun were attached via single point sling or slung from the saddle horn. For an Early War Impression the Long Guns would be of the Flintlock variety, for they where what was found in the captured Union Arsenals.

      Hope Saddles for the most part would have been what the Trooper would have personally owned. Loss of saddle would drive the Trooper to acquire either a captured McClellan or an Atlanta Arsenal. (Hope Knockoff)

      Cook’s Cavalry Manual is used for both Mounted and Dismounted.

      Units to hook up with are the 3rd Texas Cavalry, Terry’s Texas Rangers Co. I or the newly formed Terry’s Texas Rangers Co. D.

      Any further questions, just let me know.
      Joey Hernandez Co. I 8th Texas Cavalry

      38 Confederate Ancestors and Counting!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Texas Cavalry

        6 Revolvers?
        Rob Bruno
        1st MD Cav
        http://1stmarylandcavalry.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Texas Cavalry

          Interesting, indeed.

          I've never come across any firsthand references to those kind of numbers, but then I've read only a few reminiscences of men from that theater.

          I did happen to come across the returns for the 3rd Texas Cavalry at muster-in (August 31, '61) that listed numbers of pistols by company:

          [U]Company Roll Pistols

          A 104 92
          B 112 160
          C 114 180
          D 115 220
          E 114 152
          F 104 152
          G 107 144
          H 96 130
          I 115 125
          K 110 192

          (National Archives and Records Administration, record group 109)
          Jeff Nichols
          Valley Light Horse

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Texas Cavalry

            The aforementioned work by Oates, 1961, pp.66:

            "One correspondent, observing the armament of the [Terry's Texas]Rangers assembled at Houston, wrote that 'every man has a six-shooter and a Bowie knife in his belt as well as a rifle or double barrel shotgun...'

            Bellville (Texas) Countryman, September 18, 1861

            pp.70-71:

            "A newspaperman, observing the cavalry filing out of Lexington shortly after the battle, wrote that '...Generally the soldiers were mounted with shotguns or squirrel rifles; some had the old flintlock muskets; a few had Minie guns, and others Sharp's or Maynard rifles...' " (W.L. Webb, Battles and Biographies of Missourians, pp. 104)
            Jeff Nichols
            Valley Light Horse

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Texas Cavalry

              The Lone Star Defenders: A Chronicle of the Third Texas Cavalry, Ross' Brigade, , S.B, Barron, 3rd Texas Cavalry, (Neale Publishing Co., 1908) pp.28:

              "...our chief deficiency being the very poor condition of the mules and the lack of proper arms, for the men, in mustering, had gathered up shotguns, rifles, and any kind of gun obtainable at home, many being without a firearm of any kind...Now, however, to this equipment were added the pair of holster pistols. These very large, brass-mounted, single-barrel pistols -with barrels about a foot long -carried a large musket ball..."
              Jeff Nichols
              Valley Light Horse

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Texas Cavalry

                Originally posted by JLH
                The down side is, if you are captured wearing Artillery Trousers, they would hang you as a spy.

                Sorry, you may be entirely correct but I've never seen anything to suggest this.
                Last edited by Silas; 12-13-2016, 12:18 AM. Reason: Formatting error corrected
                John Duffer
                Independence Mess
                MOOCOWS
                WIG
                "There lies $1000 and a cow."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Texas Cavalry

                  Originally posted by john duffer View Post
                  Sorry, you may be entirely correct but I've never seen anything to suggest this.
                  Read the Diary of Ephraim Shelby Dodd of Co. D. 8th Texas Cavalry.
                  He was put on trial and hung for wearing Union Artillery Trousers and a Union Greatcoat
                  Joey Hernandez Co. I 8th Texas Cavalry

                  38 Confederate Ancestors and Counting!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Texas Cavalry

                    You kinda left out some details like him "piruting" between and behind the lines as well as him passing as a Federal in Kentucky in 1863. I didn't notice anything about him specifically wearing artillery trousers or US greatcoat. Maybe you could point this out...

                    What's with Cooke's? That's the official US manual which wasn't published until November, 1861?
                    Silas Tackitt,
                    one of the moderators.

                    Click here for a link to forum rules - or don't at your own peril.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Texas Cavalry

                      Originally posted by rbruno View Post
                      6 Revolvers?
                      Yes Sir,
                      "Terry's Texas Rangers" by Glenn Van Eman
                      " ... like the rest of the 8th Texas Rangers, carry as many as six revolvers, preferably '51 Colt Navies: they would carry two in holsters at their belts, two stuck inside their belts and two in saddlebags."
                      Joey Hernandez Co. I 8th Texas Cavalry

                      38 Confederate Ancestors and Counting!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Texas Cavalry

                        Originally posted by Silas View Post
                        You kinda left out some details like him "piruting" between and behind the lines as well as him passing as a Federal in Kentucky in 1863. I didn't notice anything about him specifically wearing artillery trousers or US greatcoat. Maybe you could point this out...

                        What's with Cooke's? That's the official US manual which wasn't published until November, 1861?
                        The Rangers are known to have loved the Red Stripe, so much so even the Sgt's Chevrons were Red.
                        _________________________

                        Major General J.G. Foster

                        I avail myself of this opportunity to forward an order publishing the proceedings, findings, and sentence in the case of Private E.S. Dodd, Eight Texas Confederate Cavalry, who was tried, condemned, and executed as a spy.

                        I also inclose a copy of an order with I have found it necessary to issue in regard to the wearing of the U.S. uniform by Confederate soldiers.

                        General Orders No. 3 Department of Ohio January 5, 1864
                        ______________________

                        "Terry Texas Ranger Trilogy: JKP Blackburn, LB Giles and ES Dodd" Thomas W. Cutrer PG 222
                        "In the first place Mr. Dodd wore the blue pants and overcoat which Gens. Rosecrans and Burnside had declared an offence punishable by death."
                        _________________________________

                        As far as Cook's go, that is what we use in Reenacting, so Beckman needs to learn the drill to join us.
                        Joey Hernandez Co. I 8th Texas Cavalry

                        38 Confederate Ancestors and Counting!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Texas Cavalry

                          pp.43: http://americansocietyofarmscollecto...42_VanEman.pdf

                          "They [Shannon's Scouts opposing Sherman's bummers] would often...like the rest of the 8th..., carry as many as six...if they could get six revolvers. If they couldn't, they'd carry as many as they could get".

                          (The author references several sources in his bibliography, including two reminiscences, but does not specify the source for this particular passage)
                          Jeff Nichols
                          Valley Light Horse

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Texas Cavalry

                            As Jeff mentioned, the passage is references Shannon's Scouts which according to the article was "usually never more then 43 men" even though he mentions it is "like the rest of the 8th Cav. And, he also mentions that it was mainly during Sherman's march that this occurred. After he makes that claim about the revolvers and "killing everything in camp," he acknowledges that very little documentation for this unit even exist. To me, and this is only my opinion, this author seems a little fanciful and not very historic.

                            To Ben's original question, I would look for more first hand accounts written during the war or closely after and look at the original records associated with the regiment you are looking to portray. If you can't find much and have to go to second hand sources, I would look for the ones that site their sources.
                            Rob Bruno
                            1st MD Cav
                            http://1stmarylandcavalry.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Texas Cavalry

                              With regard to drill:

                              https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/30234772.pdf

                              From Reminiscences of the Terry Rangers, J. K. P. Blackburn, Southern Historical Quarterly, Volume 2, No. 1, July 1918, pp. 60:

                              (Battle of Shiloh, April 08)

                              "Forrest came up to us with about an equal number of horsemen to our own...and being senior officer took charge of the whole line...

                              Forrest ordered forward. Without waiting to be formal in the matter, the Texans went like a cyclone, not waiting for Forrest to give his other orders to trot, gallop, charge like he drilled his men..."
                              Jeff Nichols
                              Valley Light Horse

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