Friday, September 12, 2014

Classic and recent Texas cavalry regimental histories

When I was writing my snapshot look at Stephen McGowen's excellent First Texas Cavalry history Horse Sweat and Powder Smoke last week I got to thinking about other Texas cavalry regimental histories. I'll begin by admitting that I've made no attempt to gather an exhaustive list, just a small number of titles that I've run into over the years. Most of these I haven't even seen in person.  There are so many Terry's Texas Rangers (8th Texas Cavalry) books that I'm not going to list them here.  The three Texas cavalry regimentals that I've reviewed on the site are Thomas Reid's Spartan Band: Burnett's 13th Texas Cavalry in the Civil War and Stephen Kirk's more non-traditionally formatted Sul Ross' Sixth Texas Cavalry: Six Shooters & Bowie Knives and A Thousand Texans: Men of the 9th Texas Cavalry.

The rest unfortunately remain unread by me. Douglas Hale's The Third Texas Cavalry in the Civil War is probably the best known of the bunch. More recent works are Martha Crabb's All Afire to Fight: The Untold Tale Of The Civil War's Ninth Texas Cavalry and Jane Johansson's Peculiar Honor: A History of the 28th Texas Cavalry 1862-1865.

The following are the most obscure, at least by my reckoning. From the previous decade are Chuck Carlock's History of the Tenth Texas Cavalry Dismounted Regiment, 1861-1865: "If We Ever Got Whipped, I Don't Recollect It" and Allen Hatley's Reluctant Rebels; the Eleventh Texas Cavalry Regiment. The rest go back further in time. Terrell's Texas Cavalry: Wild Horsemen of the Plains in the Civil War by John Spencer is from 1982 and three more examples -- Robert Weddle's Plow-horse Cavalry: The Caney Creek Boys of the Thirty-fourth Texas, Suffering To Silence: 29th Texas Cavalry, CSA, Regimental History by John Grady and Bradford Felmly, and Carl Duaine's Dead Men Wore Boots: 32nd Texas Volunteer Cavalry, CSA - 1862-1865 -- were published in the 60s and 70s. A few years ago, I was able to borrow copies of the Spencer and Weddle books but only had them enough time for a brief skim.  As I recall, they both seemed worth a deeper look, though I haven't done so. Of the rest I know absolutely nothing.


  1. Another one is Anne J. Bailey's, "Between the Enemy and Texas: Parsons's Texas Cavalry in the Civil War" (2005). It's a good one and well worth adding to your extensive reading list!

    1. Yes, but that's a brigade history and I was wanting to keep it to regiments.

  2. I have all three of the books in your second paragraph and they are all very good regimentals.

    Of the books listed in paragraph three, I have Terrell's Texas Cav, Plow-Horse Cavalry and Suffering to Silence. They are likewise worthwhile, but not in the same league of the ones in paragraph two.


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