Introduction of us
Different standards
Rules of Engagement for Mounted Troops
The Challenge

Standing Orders

Continued...Part 9

After six arduous weeks of skirmishing, the troopers of the 3rd Texas Cavalry went into camp on the 20th of July at Pelahatchie, twenty-two miles from Jackson. Colonel Mabry, now recovered from his wounds joined them. With time for rest, the 3rd Texas Cavalry and the Texas Brigade received much needed supplies. They found time to participate in a parade and there was a formal ball held that they attended. Even though a rest was ordered there was still duties of the cavalry that knew no rest. During the "rest" the 3rd Texas was but on picket duty, scouting and guard duty in addition to participation to raids and skirmishes as each regiment was rotated to these duties.

The 3rd Texas Cavalry was a very diverse cross section of Texas Culture. Among the Officers of the 3rd Texas Cavalry were from left to right, Refugio Benavides, Atanacio Vidaurri, Cristobal Benavidez and John Z. Leyendecker. The cavalrymen are dressed in the officer’s frock coat and are curiously absent of their cavalry boots. By 1864 many Confederate cavalry lacked boots and even shoes.It is suspected that this image was taken late in the war.

On August 15th, the Texas Brigade engaged elements of the Federal forces sent out to destroy the remnants of the Rebel railroad. The skirmishes were hot and heavy but the Texas Brigade found itself terribly out numbered. It resolved itself to hit and run tactics to delay the enemy. On September 28th, they again hit the Federal Cavalry but with better results chasing them, the pursued them back into the safety of their more larger army. This occurred about five miles from the Yazoo River.

Another engagement occurred on the Morning of October 15th when some 9000 Yankee troops headed toward the Big Black River in an effort to relieve forces near Canton, Mississippi. The battle was fought near Canton where some 4000 of the mounted Texas Brigade hit General McPherson’s advance. The battle developed with General Whitfield’s Texas Brigade holding the high ground in the wooded ravine overlooking the east bank of Bogue Chitto Creek. Though out numbered, they pinned the Yankees at the bottom of the creek with their artillery and small arms. At dawn on the 16th, the Yankee infantry swarmed up the hill. A second defensive position was set up and the defenders fell back some five miles up the road. The rain began to fall and the battle continued till nightfall. On October 18th the Federals began to withdrawal as they were peppered by the 3rd Texas Cavalry and the Texas Brigade.

"Sul" Ross’s Texas Brigade

General Whitfield’s health soon became bad enough that he had to be relieved of duty. Colonel Lawrence S. "Sul" Ross was appointed commander of the Texas Brigade.

General Ross was only 25 years of age at the time of his assumption of command. He was born on September 27, 1838 in Bentonsport, Iowa. During his Summer vacation from college, he would come to back to Texas where he earned quite a reputation as an Indian fighter. In 1858 he was commission a Captain in the Texas Rangers by Same Houston.
He further enhanced his reputation by rescuing Cynthia Ann Parker and killing Comanche Chief Peta Nocona in an encounter just prior to the Civil War. Sul Ross entered the ranks of the 6th Cavalry regiment as a private but swiftly made it up the ranks. On May 14, 1862 he was promoted to full Colonel. He was promoted to Brigadier General on December 31, 1963. During the war Ross participated in 135 engagements with the Texas Brigade and had five horses shot out from under him. Sul Ross was to lead the Texas brigade well. He turned the moral around, boosted the spirits of the entire command and showed solid leadership. Taking command, he soon turned the Texas Brigade back to a fighting force to be reckoned with. It was "Ross’s Texas Brigade" that the name stuck to and forever more, the veteran’s referred to it thus. "Lawrence Sullivan" Ross would be known as "Sul Ross" for the remainder of his life which was not over by any means. He went on to become Governor of the State of Texas in 1887. He served two terms and was then appointed President of Texas A&M University. A post he held until his death on January 8, 1898. He is buried in Waco, Texas.

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