Saturday, September 19, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Last month I mentioned in a post that “The only Confederate division comprised entirely of units from one state was Walker’s Texas Division.” Alert readers (and fellow historians) Jim McGhee and Dr. Bill Gurley pointed out to me that Brigadier General Mosby M. Parsons commanded an all Missouri division, and Brigadier General Thomas J. Churchill commanded an all Arkansas division. Both, according to Dr. Bill Gurley, were established in March 1864 and continued as single state divisions until the end of the conflict.

Walker’s Texas Division is awarded first prize for having the distinction of being a single state division for the longest period of time having been established in November 1862 and disbanding in May 1865. Parsons’ Missouri Division and Churchill’s Arkansas Division receive runner-up awards for being the single state divisions with the next longest tenures. Interestingly, Walker’s Texas Division, Parsons’ Missouri Division, and Churchill’s Arkansas Division served together at the battles of Pleasant Hill and Jenkins’ Ferry during the Red River Campaign.

There are other examples of single state divisions in the Trans-Mississippi such as the all Missouri divisions commanded by Major General Sterling Price at Wilson’s Creek and at Pea Ridge and the Arkansas division commanded by Brigadier General Francis A. Shoup at Prairie Grove.

A “close but no cigar” award goes to Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham’s division of the Army of Tennessee that was made up predominantly (but not entirely) of Tennessee units. The other “close but no cigar” award goes to Major General George Pickett’s division of the Army of Northern Virginia that had three Virginia brigades that fought at Gettysburg; however there were two brigades detached from Pickett’s division that did not serve at Gettysburg—one was a South Carolina brigade commanded by Micah Jenkins.

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