Saturday, August 29, 2009


“The only Confederate division comprised entirely of units from one state was Walker’s Texas Division.” That’s what I wrote in my last posting. Dr. Richard Lowe wrote along similar lines in Walker’s Texas Division, C. S. A. :Greyhounds of the Trans-Mississippi by stating “Walker’s Texas Division, the only one on either side to consist during its entire existence of regiments from a single state, was the largest single body of Texans to fight in the Civil War” (p. xi). The Handbook of Texas Online says of Walker’s Texas Division that it was “The only division in Confederate service composed, throughout its existence, of troops from a single state….”

But are these statements correct? An alert reader, Jim McGhee, noted that Brigadier General Mosby M. Parsons commanded an all Missouri division. After receiving his comment I started looking through my home library and found that Brigadier General Francis A. Shoup commanded an Arkansas division at the battle of Prairie Grove, and Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke commanded a Missouri cavalry division at the battle of Helena. These are all examples from the Trans-Mississippi department, but there is also the example of Major General George E. Pickett’s Virginia division at the battle of Gettysburg.

Well, it’s pretty obvious that my comment on the last posting is inaccurate as there were other Confederate single-State divisions. But was Walker’s Texas Division “the only one on either side to consist during its entire existence [emphasis added] of regiments from a single state” as Dr. Lowe contends? My suspicion (unproven at this point) is that the real distinction for Walker’s Texas division is that it was a single-State division for the longest period of time; the division was created in November 1862 and remained an all Texas division until it disbanded in April and May of 1865.

My challenge to you is to find examples of Confederate divisions made up entirely of units from a single State for their entire existence. Also, determine how long they endured as single-State divisions. Send me your comments about your discoveries, and I’ll compile the findings for a future posting. To the books!


  1. Ben Cheatham's Tennessee division had a long run, but it was interrrupted by the genius of Braxton Bragg, who shuffled Jackson's GA/MS brigade into it during the Chattanooga siege.

  2. Dr. Bill Gurley contacted me with the following information:

    I believe John G. Walker’s and Mosby M. Parson’s Divisions were the only ones composed of units from one state throughout their existence.

    Mosby Parsons’ all-Missouri Division didn’t come into being until March 1864, when Parsons’ Brigade (10th ,11th , 12th, 16th Missouri Infty., and Pindall’s Missouri Battalion of Sharpshooters) was combined with Thomas F. Drayton’s (later Charles Mitchell’s) brigade of Missourians (8th and 9th Missouri Infty.). Prior to that Parsons’ Brigade had been with other Arkansas brigades as part of a division at the battles of Prairie Grove and Helena. At Prairie Grove, Parsons’ Missourians and Shaver’s Arkansans constituted Daniel Frost’s Division. At Helena, Parsons’ Missourians and Dandridge McRae’s Arkansans made up Sterling Price’s Division. Nevertheless, from its inception in March 1864 until its surrender in June 1865, only Missourians served in Parsons’ Division. So as far as the TMD goes, I believe only Parsons’ and Walker’s Divisions contained units from one state throughout their existence. I think that also holds true for divisions in the Army of Tennessee. Not being as familiar with the Army of Northern Virginia, I’ll refrain from making any statements for that Confederate army.

    I also think Mosby Parsons’ original brigade might have surpassed any and all of Walker’s brigades in mileage marched. I’ll have to do the calculations and compare it to that posed by Lowe in his recent book, but I think it will be pretty close.

  3. A further comment from Dr. Bill Gurley: After a little more thought, I believe it might be possible to include Churchill’s Arkansas Division in the mix with Walker and Parsons. After its formal designation in March 1864 (simultaneous with Parsons’), only Arkansas units served in Churchill’s Division. Again, Walker’s Texas Division was in existence for almost two years before either Parsons’ or Churchill’s came into being, which makes it the division with the longest tenure in the Civil War whose units were from a single state.