Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Walker's Greyhounds

The only Confederate division comprised entirely of units from one state was Walker’s Texas Division. Nicknamed the “greyhounds” by their Union opponents for their ability to march long distances quickly, these proud Texans campaigned in Arkansas and Louisiana. The battles they fought in are not well known to those who focus on the eastern campaigns, but the Texans made their most significant mark during the Red River campaign in the spring of 1864 at the battles of Mansfield (Louisiana), Pleasant Hill (Louisiana), and Jenkins’ Ferry (Arkansas). Some parts of the division also fought at Milliken’s Bend and Bayou Bourbeau in Louisiana earlier in the war. These Texans could boast that they helped preserve their state from Union invasion as Texas was the only Confederate State that Federal troops never successfully invaded. Readers wanting to know about the division from the perspective of a soldier who served in it should consult Private Joseph P. Blessington’s, The Campaigns of Walker’s Texas Division. First published in 1875, the book has been reprinted at least twice in recent decades. Blessington’s book is somewhat lacking when it comes to detailed descriptions of battles but makes up for that by solid accounts of marching and camp life. An excellent modern study of the division is Richard Lowe’s Walker’s Texas Division, C. S. A. : Greyhounds of the Trans-Mississippi published by Louisiana State University Press in 2004. Defending Texas, by the way, required much traveling; Dr. Lowe estimates that the Greyhounds marched 3,500 miles during the war and traveled by water another 600 miles.

Here is the organization of Walker’s Texas Division (commanded by Major General John G. Walker) during the Red River campaign:

Brigadier General Thomas N. Waul’s brigade:
12th Texas Infantry [sometimes referred to as the 8th Texas Infantry]
18th Texas Infantry
22nd Texas Infantry
13th Texas Cavalry [dismounted]
Captain Horace Halderman’s Texas Battery

Colonel Horace Randal’s brigade:
11th Texas Infantry
14th Texas Infantry
6th Texas Cavalry Battalion [dismounted] (Gould’s Battalion)
28th Texas Cavalry [dismounted]
Captain J. M. Daniel’s Texas Battery

Brigadier General William R. Scurry’s brigade:
3rd Texas Infantry [joined the brigade in mid April 1864]
16th Texas Infantry
17th Texas Infantry
19th Texas Infantry
16th Texas Cavalry [dismounted]
Captain William Edgar’s Texas Battery


  1. Jane: If you will check the records, you will find that Parsons's Missouri division consisted of all Missouri units.

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