Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 1864: The Battle of Jenkins' Ferry

According to Gary Dillard Joiner in his One Damn Blunder From Beginning To End: The Red River Campaign of 1864, “Confederate casualties were listed as 800 to 1,000 killed, wounded, or missing of 6,000 committed” at the battle of Jenkins’ Ferry. “Union casualties were approximately 700 killed, wounded, and missing” (p. 134). As in other military history books, I read numbers such as this but can’t really put them into perspective. So, here’s a little exercise. The 28th Texas Cavalry (dismounted) served in Colonel Horace Randal’s brigade at Jenkins’ Ferry and had casualties totaling 20 killed, 1 mortally wounded, 40 wounded, and 1 wounded/captured/died in prison. Below is the casualty list for this regiment as taken from the May 16, 1864 issue of the Houston Daily Telegraph; ages listed are from the 1860 census. Scroll through the list and then read the concluding comments.
 Brigade Staff:
Colonel Horace Randal, 27, mortally wounded [commanding brigade but organizer and first commander of the 28th Texas]
Company A:
John Amason, 14, wounded and captured; died in prison at Little Rock, Arkansas
Benjamin F. Beavers, wounded slightly in the hand
James Bralley, 35, wounded slightly in the arm, leg, and hand
Isaac Hays, 25, killed
Stephen H. Oats, 15, wounded severely in the jaw
Peter L. Rohus, wounded slightly in the side
Benjamin H. Schooler, 36, killed
A. J. Shaw, wounded severely in the hand
Jefferson E. Thomas, wounded severely in the wrist
William A. Walling, 28, killed
Total: 3 killed, 1 wounded/captured/died, 6 wounded
Company B:
William M. Holloway, wounded slightly in the shoulder
William M. Lowe, 17, wounded slightly in the abdomen
C. L. Stafford, 23, killed
Total: 1 killed, 2 wounded
Company C:
Sergeant James S. Anderson, 26, killed
J. A. Barber, wounded slightly in the arm
Phillip Essry, wounded slightly in the fingers
D. Guttery, wounded slightly in the thigh
Total: 1 killed, 3 wounded
Company D:
J. C. Clingman, wounded severely in the leg
W. H. Gilliam, wounded severely in the shoulder
J. P. Hamilton, killed
Samuel Meggs, 34, wounded severely in the arm
Total: 1 killed, 3 wounded
Company E:
G. R. Clure, wounded slightly in the arm
W. C. Dawson, 15, wounded slightly in the arm
J. A. Dennis, killed
J. M. Maddox, killed
William Oldham, wounded slightly in the leg
Corporal T. H. Wynne, killed
Total: 3 killed, 3 wounded
Company F:
1st Lieutenant A. J. Agnew, wounded slightly in the side
2nd Lieutenant Rene Fitzpatrick, 28, killed
Sergeant G. W. George, 30, wounded slightly in the toe
J. D. Hartley, 15, wounded in the arm
Corporal W. A. J. Lewis, wounded severely in the breast
D. Mahoen, wounded severely in the arm
Total: 1 killed, 5 wounded
Company G:
Horace B. Bishop, wounded severely in the arm
R. M. Garrett, 37, wounded severely in the thigh
W. T. Trim, wounded severely in the foot and arm
Total: 3 wounded
Company H:
2nd Lieutenant William G. Blain, 29, wounded slightly in the thigh
F. M. Bartlett, killed
F. M. Brown, killed
J. J. Burleson, 23, killed
Sergeant E. A. Means, 29, killed
James Strickland, 27, wounded severely in the thigh
Total: 4 killed, 2 wounded
Company I:
2nd Lieutenant Morgan Rye, 32, wounded slightly in the arm and leg
John H. Albright, killed
Joseph M. Armstrong, 29, wounded severely in the back
L. C. Mills, wounded slightly in the thigh
Chamer C. Scane, 33, killed
Thomas J. Tipton, wounded severely in the hip
Sergeant George W. Turner, 27, wounded slightly in the shoulder
John K. Wise, killed
Total: 3 killed, 5 wounded
Company K:
2nd Lieutenant M. M. Samples, 23, wounded severely in the arm
Corporal William P. Burns, killed [had also been wounded at either Mansfield or Pleasant Hill]
Henry Carroll, wounded severely in the arm [had also been wounded at either Mansfield or Pleasant Hill]
Gabriel R. W. Corley, wounded slightly in the shoulder
George Fleummons, wounded severely in the hand
Thomas Hill, wounded dangerously in the thigh
Sergeant William E. Midyett, killed
George T. Nail, wounded severely in the hip
Thomas M. Parrish, 21, killed [had also been wounded at either Mansfield or Pleasant Hill]
O. F. Ramsey, 30, wounded slightly in the shoulder [had also been wounded at either Mansfield or Pleasant Hill]
J. M. White, wounded severely in the thigh
Total: 3 killed, 8 wounded
Consider that this list would need to be extended by at least 738 more names (and possibly as many as 938 more names) to list all of the Confederate casualties at Jenkins’ Ferry. For the Union force, another list of at least 700 names would need to be included. Somehow, seeing the names of actual casualties helps me grasp the human cost of the war more than just reading numbers. The impact of the battle of Jenkins’ Ferry also rippled outward to affect thousands of people: wives, children, parents, siblings, other relatives, and friends. As William T. Sherman aptly wrote: “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it….”


  1. Jane: Does that newspaper list the casualties of the other regiments of Walker's Division?

  2. Hi Jim,
    Regrettably, I'm unable to completely answer your question. The following article guided me to the casualty list that the blog posting is based on:
    Barr, Alwyn. "Texan Losses in the Red River Campaign, 1864." Texas Military History, volume 3 (summer 1963): pages 103-110.

    I have been perusing my files in an attempt to locate my copy of this article but was unable to find the article. As I recall, the author used several Texas newspapers in compiling his information; the article is carefully footnoted so it is easy to trace casualty information back to a specific newspaper issue.

    Looks like I need to track down a copy of the article again!

  3. Jane: The reason I ask is that I recently read a new book on the battle of Jenkins'Ferry and it has no list of casualties for Walker's division. Nor does Edwin Bearss book on the battle, as I recall. Prof. Lowe, in his history of the division, provides losses of 84 killed, 360 wounded, and 3 missing, but does not break the casualties down by unit. Like you, I like to see the numbers by regiment, or battalion.

  4. Jim: Yes, it is much more helpful, I think, to see the casualties broken down by unit. As I recall Alwyn Barr was able to find a break down of casualties for most of the Texas units at Jenkins' Ferry. However, most of the newspaper casualty lists combined the losses for Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. Dr. Lowe may have based his totals on the Barr article.

  5. I am not familiar on how to locate Civil War records and wonder if you can direct me on where I would begin. The Peter Rohus wounded in the side is my 4th great grandfather.

  6. Most Civil War soldiers had a "compiled service record"; these are at the National Archives. It is possible to order the record from the National Archives but many are available on This is a subscription site that has many military records, census records, etc. Like many 28th Texas compiled service records, Peter Rohus' record is slim and gives few details. He did survive his wound as he is mentioned as AWOL as of April 25, 1865--I would imagine that a lot of Confederate soldiers were AWOL by that time! If you can determine where he lived after the war, then a great source might be a state pension application. Those are typically more detailed than a service record. There are many resources on the internet that explain how to research your Civil War ancestor. I suggest you "google" "researching Civil War soldier" and see what sites that takes you to. Your local public library may also have someone who can direct you to helpful books and internet sites. If there is a genealogy group in your area, then they might be helpful as well. Good luck!

  7. Shelby County where he passed in 1898 I have the pension application that hus wife submitted after hus death but it doesn't state much. Shelby Countt has a dictated list that he was Corporal but d/c as a private I think there maybe be story there to why he was demoted. Thanks Jane

  8. real names of battle fields at Jenkins ferry should be Jenkins carver,dortch, tucker ,I have deeds to prove it.tom green descendant

  9. I don't really consider myself to be an expert on the battle of Jenkins' Ferry. You probably already are aware of it, but there is a blog written by Joe Walker that is chiefly devoted to the battle. The address is

  10. There is a map drawn by a Confederate cartographer, located now in South Carolina that has been placed on line. Could you list which names go to which fields? There seems to have always been confusion with the names of the fields. To the Union forces they were just mud and water. This was only a delaying action which turned into a 6 hour battle with a 1000 men lost. descendant I co. 12th Kansas.

  11. There has been much discussion in recent years about the names of the fields at Jenkins' Ferry which as you point out were pretty muddy on April 30, 1864! For a thorough discussion of the names of the fields and the Gilmer map check out Joe Walker's blog at He did a three part series that started on July 14, 2014 titled "The Fields at Jenkins' Ferry."