The Frontier Regiment

Background

There was some interest in the United States for migrating to Texas in the mid-1830s — but not much, mostly because the fate of Texas and the people who lived there was uncertain.  But in 1850, with the issue of statehood out of the way and the war with Mexico decided, Texas became the land of opportunity and Americans and Europeans pushed into the Texas Plain by the thousands.

Most Texas immigrants arrived from the American south, but a large number of people also came from Germany.  Slave owners tended to migrate toward east Texas; Central Texas drew the attention of non-slave owning subsistence farmers; the dreamers and cattlemen looked to west Texas — or at least as far west in Texas one could go without losing their scalp.  To protect these settlers and vital commerce routes (or at least that was the intention), the U. S. Army constructed a series for forts between San Antonio and El Paso.  Among these were Fort Belknap, Fort Phantom Hill, and Fort Chadbourne, constructed in 1851 and 1852.

Texas Indians

The United States government began to address the “Indian Problem” in 1830, when President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law.  The law authorized the President to “negotiate” with southern Indian tribes for their removal to federal territory west of the Mississippi River, in exchange for white settlement of their ancestral lands.[1]

Federal troops moved into the Texas frontier in 1848 and began the construction of a series of forts from Fort Worth to Eagle Pass.  Between 1849-51, thousands more whites flooded into Indian territories — some who were making their way to the California gold fields, others who demanded settlements and the Army’s protection in West Texas.  Texas offered land grants to railroad companies and encouraged buffalo hunters to intensify their slaughter of the Plains Indian’s principle source of food. The combination of these activities increased Indian hostilities, both in the number of incidents and in their intensity.  Federal peace negotiators moved rapidly to conclude a treaty with Comanche, Caddo, Lipan Apache, Quapaw, Tawakoni, and Waco Indians.

Meanwhile, Texas officials struggled to find solutions to the Indian problem.  One possible solution, some thought, would be to colonize Indians somewhere in Texas.  In 1852, the Texas legislature set aside land for two reservations.  A third legislative proposal involved setting aside five square leagues of land (each square league amounts to 4,428 acres) in an area west of the Pecos River.  Action on this proposal never materialized.  Finally, in February 1854, the Texas legislature set aside twelve leagues (about 70,000 acres) which was surveyed by Major Robert S. Neighbors and Captain Randolph B. Marcy.  One tract, the Brazos Reserve, was located along the Brazos River twelve miles below Fort Belknap.  This set-aside was ear-marked for Anadarkos, Caddos, Ionies, Kichais, Tawakonis, Konkawas, Wacos, and other semi-agricultural tribes — in all, around 1,100 people.  The other tract, known as the Clear Fork Reserve, was intended for Peneteka and Comanche.  Major Neighbors, the leading Indian Agent, began the somewhat daunting task of persuading these tribes to enter the reservations.

By the end of 1854, the US Army began moving Texas Indians onto reservations.  The (generally) peaceful Indians (Caddo, Anadarko, Waco, Tawakoni, Tonkawa, and Wichitas) became the responsibility of Fort Belknap;[2][3][4], the Comanche, who made their living through violence and mayhem[5], were taken to an area outside Camp Cooper in Throckmorton County.[6]  With the Army’s guarantee of safety, settlers pushed into West Texas to about the 99th meridian.

A Western Paradise

Game in west-central Texas was plentiful.  There were deer, bison, antelope, turkeys, squirrels, ducks, geese, and prairie chickens — accompanied by an abundance of wild fruits and berries — which altogether offered a healthy and varied diet.  In the spring, Texas land produced beautiful wildflowers, lush grass, and a large assortment of birds.  In many ways, Texas was a veritable paradise; who wouldn’t want to live in such a place?  Who could criticize the Indians for wanting to keep such a place for themselves — land that had been theirs for several hundred years?  West Texas wasn’t suitable for farming, however, and the people who tried to transform the plain into farmland suffered the effects of working against nature.

Texas was, in many ways, a paradise — but it wasn’t a theme park.  The people who settled in Texas had to learn rather quickly to adapt to its natural environment, which included severe weather.  Violent thunderstorms, tornadoes, and torrential rain frequented the small settlements.  Winters were as harshly cold as the summers were freakishly hot — with dry spells where water evaporated, and the spring and fall brought treacherous flooding.  And the Texans had to contend with natural prey: bears, mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, aggressive water moccasins very large rattlesnakes.

Of course, an increase in western settlements increased the demand for supplies.  Moving supplies and goods across Texas posed many problems.  There were essentially only two routes for freight: the first by water to Little Rock, Arkansas, westward by wagon through Preston, and by cargo wagon across to West Texas.  A second route began at the port of Corpus Christi, overland to San Antonio, and from there across South Texas to settlements and military forts.  Texas farmers grew wheat and corn for personal consumption or sold it to the military.  What they couldn’t raise for themselves they bartered for with neighbors.  Finished goods, such as flour, often required hundreds of miles of travel to the nearest grist mill — a dangerous trip for all kinds of reasons.

The first Butterfield Overland stagecoach made its way across the Texas frontier in the fall of 1858 and while the people were glad to have it, the service was short-lived.  With civil war approaching, the federal government decided to withdraw its Army from Texas.  Young men, with their heads full of notions about adventure and glory, left home to join the fight, but with their young men leaving, and the Army’s abandonment of forts, it was left to the settlers to defend themselves.  Either that or move back east.

Moving Indians on to the reservations — even those in Oklahoma — did not substantially reduce the violence or frequency of Indian raids in Texas.  It was an easy matter for Indians to leave their reservations, form war parties, inflict murder and mayhem, and then return to their reservations as if nothing had happened.  When some west Texas settlers could no longer abide Indian depravities, their loss of livestock, homes destroyed by fire, and destroyed crops, they moved back to East Texas or abandoned Texas altogether.

In Self-defense

Texans who remained on the frontier organized to defend themselves.  They formed informal militias and “forted up” their homesteads.  Forting up didn’t always work, though — as evidenced by one of the bloodiest raids in Texas history, on 13 October 1864.  At Elm Creek (in Young County), a thousand hostiles moved from one homestead to the next, killing men, women, children, looting, burning, and driving off horses and cattle.  The Elm Creek Raid did nothing to improve relations between Indians and settlers, but it did much to increase the resolve of stubborn Texans.  Before the end of the Civil War, there were around 100 forted settlements.[7]  As these were never intended as permanent structures, few remain today as reminders of an earlier, more dangerous time to live in Texas.

In 1860, thirty percent of Texas’ 604,000 residents were slaves.  At a statewide convention to consider the ordinance of secession, 76% voted to withdraw from the United States.  The convention then proceeded to replace Sam Houston as governor and on 1 February 1861, declared Texas’ secession from the Union.[8]  Texas was admitted into the Confederate States of America on 2 March 1861.  General David E. Twiggs, U. S. Army, commanding all federal military forces in Texas, promptly surrendered his command of around 4,000 men, including Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee, who commanded Fort Brown (present-day Brownsville, Texas).  Twiggs immediately resigned from the U. S. Army and accepted a commission in the Confederate States Army (See also: David Emanuel Twiggs).

On 21 December 1861, the Ninth Texas Legislature authorized the establishment of the Texas Frontier Regiment.  The mission of this regiment was to relieve the Confederate First Regiment of Mounted Rifles (being withdrawn for service in the Civil War), man the western forts, and establish a protective arm around the settlements of west Texas.[9]  Withering Indian raids were slaughtering Texans and making off with vast herds of cattle and horses.  The Indians didn’t understand the emerging Civil War, but they did recognize a martial advantage when they saw one.

Texas Governor Francis R. Lubbock appointed Colonel James M. Norris (an attorney) to command the Frontier regiment, which was raised on 29 January 1862.[10]  Norris’ executive officer was Lieutenant Colonel Alfred T. Obenchain, with Major James E. McCord appointed as regimental adjutant.  These three officers surveyed existing fortifications in March and April — their goal was to establish 18 defensive locations.  The forts they selected extended 500 miles from the Red River in North Texas to the Rio Grande in South Texas.  In a separate action, Lubbock appointed nine officers to raise 9 companies of rangers to man these frontier defenses.

Owing to a paucity of funds and attendant manpower shortages, the Texas legislature excluded El Paso and Presidio counties from Texas’ protective arm, allowing Colonel Norris to better manage available manpower resources.  Governor Lubbock authorized a tenth company to serve as a reserve force, but the legislature never funded it.

Nine companies (with a ceiling of 125 men each) were formed and mustered in March and April 1862.  Each company commander exercised command authority over two camps.  Each company organized scouting parties to conduct area reconnaissance missions between two camps.  These patrols involved one officer and five rangers.  One of these patrols would depart camp every other day to the next southern camp.  Upon arrival, they would remain overnight and return to the northern camp the following day.  This scheme provided an armed patrol every day along the entire defensive line from the Red River to the Rio Grande.

Although well-organized, the patrols were only moderately successful because conditions within these ranger camps were deplorable.  In April, Norris advised the Adjutant General in Austin that his rangers were poorly mounted, inadequately armed, sickly, had no access to doctors or medications, and had no forage for their animals.  Norris also complained that he was short of ammunition and that the gunpowder was tainted.  These conditions produced low morale and disciplinary challenges.  Tactically, the daily scouting patrols were passive/defensive — one officer and five rangers was completely inadequate to confront war parties numbering from 30 to 50 braves.  Finally, the distance between camps was too great to allow for effective scouting.

Colonel Norris attempted to correct some of these problems in June 1862 by increasing the size of perimeter patrols to one officer and eight privates, adding a second “beyond the perimeter” patrol of one officer and thirteen privates, and requiring the rangers to spend no less than twenty days in the field.  Still, the size of West Texas patrol areas produced marginally effective results when compared to the cost of maintaining them and the increase of field duty did nothing to improve morale.

Texas was out of funds.  As a means of shifting the cost of the regiment to the Confederate States of America, Governor Lubbock attempted to place the Frontier Regiment on the Confederacy’s payroll.  The legislature refused to allow it.  If the regiment served at all, it would serve only Texas.  In any case, Confederate President Jefferson Davis had no interest in funding the regiment or accepting it into Confederate service.

Lacking funds, Governor Lubbock disbanded the regiment in January 1863.  Most of the ranger’s enlistments were getting ready to expire anyway — and besides, Lubbock had come up with another plan.  He wanted a new frontier regiment that consisted of ten companies of no more than 97 privates (plus officers) and an enlistment term of three years.  The Adjutant-General, Colonel Jeremiah Dashiell, determined that the new regiment should be named The Mounted Regiment of Texas State Troops.[11]  Dashiell believed that the new name would convince Confederate authorities that it was a new regiment, formed in compliance with the Confederate Army structure.  Dashiell was certain this would persuade the CSA to pay for the upkeep of the regiment.  It didn’t.

Major James E. McCord was promoted to colonel and appointed to command the new regiment.  Assuming command on 2 February 1863, McCord established his headquarters at Camp Colorado, co-located with Captain J. J. Callan’s ranger company.[12]  McCord was bold and aggressive in his duty.  He didn’t confine himself to scouting — he ordered “search and destroy” missions of up to 40 men.  Their task was to cut into Indian territory and put the Indians on the defensive.  Austin legislators balked at this, however, and when notified by the Adjutant-General to cease and desist, McCord promptly resigned.

Generally, state lawmakers aren’t that smart, but in this case, the Texas Legislature was wise enough to refuse McCord’s resignation.  Supported by his captains, McCord embarked upon even more aggressive tactics.  On 28 July 1863, McCord reported in writing to the Adjutant General that Capt. James Joseph Callan and forty men had been in the field for 122 days. These expanded missions proved more successful in engaging Indians.  McCord’s scheme of maneuver was effective, but far from perfect; individual Indian raiders still slipped through the regiment’s defensive line.  It didn’t happen often, but when it did, it created panic within isolated settlements and jangled political nerves in Austin.  In early September 1863, Governor Lubbock forbade any scouting mission beyond the regiment’s defensive line.  Lubbock instructed McCord to focus his attention within the defensive perimeter until war parties  were either destroyed or driven outside the line.

Hostile Indians weren’t McCord’s only problem, however.  Small, violent bands of Union terrorists, known in Missouri as Kansas Jayhawkers (also Red Legs), were creating havoc in west Texas — burning homes, murdering residents, and looting frontier settlements.[13]

By January 1864, a high rate of battle casualties in the Confederate Army prompted senior commanders to urge increased recruitment.  They couldn’t win battles without the troops required to fight them — a reality that prompted another look at the Texas Mounted Rifles for Confederate service.  This discussion, however, created unease within the rangers themselves and among the people they served.  Captain Rowland (assigned to the Red River Station) wrote to McCord predicting that the transfer, if it occurred, would cause widespread panic among the settlers.[14]  Nevertheless, on 1 March 1864, the Mounted Regiment, State Troops, was transferred to the Confederate Army.

Neither the Frontier Regiment nor the Texas Mounted Rifles of State Troops was entirely efficient or successful in their missions — how could they have been?  The West Texas prairie was vast landscape with widely dispersed settlements.  No one could anticipate with certainty where hostiles would appear next — or from which direction.  The only real accomplishment of either organization was that it offered some reassurance to isolated settlers during an anxious time.  This sense of well-being disappeared, however, when settlers noted that they were completed surrounded by Indian war parties.

As predicted, the regiment’s transfer to the Confederacy generated enormous insecurity and vulnerability along the entire Texas frontier.  Texas Indian wars from 1861 to 1865 had always been the Confederacy’s step-child.  Confederate officials in Richmond completely ignored the fact that Texans were fighting a two-front war.  Despite the outrage of West Texans, ranger companies withdrew within weeks.

In April 1864, McCord received orders to assemble what remained of the regiment for service in Grimes County (East Texas), where Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation produced tensions between slaver owners and a much higher population of slaves.  In West Texas, settlers became contemptuous of the Confederacy and State legislature in equal measure — but this condition would only become worse.

Earlier, in late December 1863, anticipating the loss of the Texas Mounted Rifles, the tenth Texas legislature reorganized the frontier with a new law declaring that all persons eligible for military service, who resided within the frontier counties, would be required to serve in ranging companies.  The companies would involve from 25 to 60 men each.[15]  Texas intended to appoint an officer serving in the rank of major of cavalry to command each of the three frontier districts.

These frontier district commanders required that a quarter of their men serve on active service at all times, on a rotational basis.  In January 1864, Governor Murrah appointed William Quayle (1st Frontier District, Decatur),[16] George Erath (2nd Frontier District, Gatesville),[17] and James Hunter (3rd Frontier District, Fredericksburg).[18]  By 1 March, four-thousand men served in the new Frontier Regiment — whether they wanted to or not.

Quayle’s ill health prompted the appointment of James Webb Throckmorton to replace him in December 1864.[19]  John Henry Brown replaced Hunter in January 1865.[20]  Owing to Brown’s service under Colonel John S. “Rip” Ford, responsibility for coordinating affairs in the 2nd and 3rd frontier districts fell to John D. McAdoo, Brigadier General of State Troops.  Yet, despite these changes of key personnel, these frontier troops did an exceptional job protecting settlements from Indians and Union radicals.  They also enforced Confederate conscription and rounded up deserters.  On average, the rangers spent ten days in the saddle.

At Ellison Springs

The Ellison Springs Fight was typical of small unit actions on the Texas frontier during the Civil War.  Captain Singleton (Sing) Gilbert commanded a frontier company within Major Erath’s 2nd Frontier District at Nash Springs, approximately 3-miles north of present-day Gorman, Texas.  On 9 August 1864, Gilbert dispatched a squad of eight men under Corporal James L. Head to conduct a ten-day scouting patrol.  That morning, Corporal Head came upon fresh Indian sign moving southward, which he estimated involved between 30-50 Indians of unknown intent.  The squad followed the trail for twenty miles before overtaking the war party at a ranch several miles west of Gorman, near Ellison Springs.  Being outnumbered, Head withdrew to Captain Gilbert’s Ranch, a few miles away.  The 30-year-old Captain Gilbert mustered additional guns from among his ranch hands, bringing the strength of the frontier force to around 16 men.  Once assembled, Gilbert foolishly led his men into a frontal assault against the Indians — several whom were on foot carrying blankets and bridles for horses they intended to steal.

Gilbert’s outnumbered assault force was quickly decimated.  Within moments, Gilbert and two others lay dead, three men received serious wounds, and the Texans withdrew.  The Indians also withdrew.  Corporal Head nevertheless continued to track the Indians, eventually recovering 18 horses (out of fifty stolen near Stephenville several days earlier).

Several days later, Sergeant A. D. Miller with an eight-man squad operating east of Stephens County discovered twenty Indians moving northwest.  Miller, assuming that the Indians were part of the Ellison Springs fight, followed their trail for fifteen miles, overtook them, and vigorously chastised them.  The battle, which lasted an hour, caused no loss of life among Miller’s squad.  At the end of the patrol, Sergeant Miller reported two Indians killed, three others wounded, and the recovery of seventy-three horses, seven saddles, and an assortment of bridles and blankets.  Where the additional forty-one horses came from is anyone’s guess.

At Dove Creek

The Kickapoo Indians (presently numbering an estimated 5,000 people) are an Algonquian-speaking tribe with an indigenous tie to northern Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.  According to some linguists, the word Kickapoo means “standing here and there.”  In the early days of European migration, the Kickapoo were confederated with the fierce Eastern Miami, the Southern Piankeshaw, and northern Wea, with settlements as far west as present-day Indiana.

On 8 January 1865 near Dove Creek in present-day San Angelo, Confederate States Army and Texas State militia (numbering around 325 men) observed an estimated 600 Kickapoo Indians migrating toward Mexico from Kansas.  Mistaking these Indians for Comanche and Kiowa, the Confederate soldiers launched a massive assault against them.  The battle quickly developed into a desperate struggle.

Within the first five minutes, Kickapoo warriors killed three militia officers and sixteen men; several of the poorly trained militia deserted the battlefield and escaped further injury.  Confederate troops, vastly better trained, were nevertheless severely beaten by the Indians in a fight that lasted for nearly 24 hours.  After the Confederate force broke off contact, the Kickapoo continued their travel into Mexico.  In total, the Indians killed 30 men, the Confederates killing twelve Indians.

The long-term consequences of the Battle of Dove Creek was that it embittered the Kickapoo toward Texans and over the two subsequent decades, Kickapoo warriors launched hostile raids against Texas settlers, farms, and ranches from their stronghold inside Mexico.

On 10 March 1865, Brigadier General McAdoo issued orders to the commanders of the 2nd and 3rd military districts to prepare for a major military campaign.  In April, district rangers would scour the land between Fort McKavett (on the San Saba River) and the Concho River for deserters.  The troops proceeded through Kerrville, west along Johnson’s Fork of the Guadalupe River, and north toward the Llano River Valley.  The column arrived at Fort McKavett on 21 April.  After two day’s rest, they proceeded to Kickapoo Creek.

En route, one of the scouting parties discovered a group of around 25 “reengage” federal troops camping on a nearby brushy hill.  Lieutenant Henry Smith quickly organized his men for an assault and the renegades (if that’s what they were) fled in all directions, most toward the Concho River.

Major Brown, believing that the renegades would take refuge at Fort McKavett, led his men north to conceal their movement from renegade observers, and then doubled back toward the fort.  After a three day force march, Brown’s Texans arrived at Fort McKavett and captured five men standing post, but beyond that, the alleged renegade unit was never found.  Of the captured men, the Texans released three.  Brown retained custody of the remaining two men on account of the fact that they were known horse-thieves.  Everyone knows what Texans do with horse-thieves.

Major Brown’s march was the last military presence at Fort McKavett during the Civil War.  On 26 May 1965, General E. Kirby Smith surrendered the Confederate Department of the Trans-Mississippi.  Texans remaining on active service simply mounted their horses and returned to their homes.

Sources:

  1. Elliott, C.  Leathercoat: The Life History of a Texas Patriot.  San Antonio: Texas History, 1938.
  2. Goodnight, C., and others.  Pioneer Days in the Southwest, 1850-1879.  Guthrie: Oklahoma State Capitol Press, 1909.
  3. Honig, L. E.  John Henry Brown, Texian Journalist, 1820-1895.  El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1973.
  4. Langston, C. L.  History of Eastland County.  Dallas: Aldridge Press, 1904.
  5. Moore, S. L.  Savage Frontier: Rangers, Riflemen, and Indian Wars in Texas, Volume IV (1842-1845).  Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2010.
  6. Smith, D. P.  Frontier Defense in Texas, 1861-1865.  Denton: North Texas State University Press, 1987.

Endnotes:

[1] “Indian Removal” was how Benjamin Franklin envisioned white/Indian relations.  In 1775, Franklin called for a perpetual alliance with native Americans.  Thomas Jefferson defended native culture and marveled at how the Indians would not submit themselves to outside authority, principally, he argued, because of their sense of right and wrong.  In 1790, President George Washington insisted that seizure of Indian land was evil; he worked to establish closer relations between the United States and the Indian nations.  Even the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 called for the protection of Indian property, rights, and liberty.

[2] The word Caddo identified one of around 25 distinct but closely affiliated Indian groups inhabiting an area from the Red River (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma) through the mid-19th century.  Caddo is a French abbreviation of Kadohadacho.

[3] Anadarko Indians (encompassing Anadaca, Anduico, Nadaco, and Nandacao bands) was a southwestern or Hasinai division of the Caddo, resided between Nacogdoches and present-day Rusk County.  They eventually moved (or were pushed) northward and lived along the Sabine River.  In the 1840’s migrated further west to the Brazos River, northwest of Waco.

[4] Waco Indians (also Huaco or Hueco) were of the Wichita people, a division of the Tawakoni Tribe, long unaffiliated.  It was common in stone-aged civilizations for groups to break off from the primary group when populations grew to a certain number, they in turn forming bands of their own and adopting names for themselves that were significant to their unique beliefs.

[5] The word “Comanche” has two meanings.  The first, from the Comanche themselves, means “The People.”  Among other (neighboring) tribes, the word Kimantsi means “enemy,” or in the Ute Indian meaning, “Anyone who wants to fight me all the time.”

[6] Located in far north-central Texas.

[7] One of these was Fort Davis in Stephens County (not to be confused with the military Fort Davis in Jeff Davis County); it was 300’x325’, had buildings constructed of stone, and could accommodate 125 settlers seeking protection.  It was later expanded to include a blacksmith shop, a smokehouse, and a small school room.  Survival at Fort Davis meant that the men would have to travel 100 miles (one way) for flour; on ox-drawn carts, this would take up to six weeks and the women, remaining at the fort, with a few men, would have to fend for themselves.

[8] Houston refused to swear an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy.

[9] The First Texas Rifles was the first regiment in Texas mustered into Confederate service, Henry Eustace McCulloch, Colonel, Commanding.  Thomas Frost served as regimental executive officer, and Edward Burleson, Jr., served as adjutant major.  Burleson previously served as a Texas Ranger under Ben McCullough, Henry’s older brother, in the Mexican American War.

[10] Governor Lubbock could have made a worse choice to lead the regiment, but it would have been difficult.  Norris lacked experience in Indian fighting and his lack of leadership ability resulted in serious discipline problems with junior officers and enlisted troops.

[11] It was a difficult time for recruitment in Texas.  There were only so many able-bodied men and three separate military service organizations: Confederate States Army, Texas Confederate Army, and Texas State Troops (such as the Mounted Regiment).  At one point, Colonel John S. Ford suggested that the Mounted Regiment might look to furloughed or discharged Confederate veterans, boys too young for standard military service, and men past their prime to guard the Texas frontier.  But, it seemed, there was no solution for the monetary crisis.  Simply stated, Texas was out of cash.

[12] Mills County, Texas.  After the Civil War, an English migrant named H. H. Sackett purchased Camp Colorado, dismantled the headquarters building and constructed in its place his private residence and a general store.

[13] The term Jayhawker is a label these men chose for themselves and widely adopted by others to describe Civil War era Union terrorists.  We must be careful of using labels, however, because similar terms are often applied to other circumstances.  For example, Texas, too, had a group of men called Jayhawkers.  In Texas, they were never involved in guerrilla fighting with Confederate forces or supporters; they  were simply Texans who refused to support Texas with military  service during the war.

[14] Montague County, two miles south of the Red River on Salt Creek.  As a community, Red River Station never recovered from a tornado in 1880.

[15] Fifty-nine counties divided into three military districts.

[16] Quayle (1825-1901) migrated to America with his parents from the Isle of Man.  After service as a sea captain, he moved to Texas for reasons of his health, serving as a district clerk, district judge, and chief justice of Tarrant County.  Although he opposed secession, he organized the first company of cavalry from Tarrant County to serve in the Confederacy.  He commanded the 9th Texas Cavalry until poor health required his resignation.  As a member of the Texas Senate, he helped to organize the new Frontier Regiment in late 1863.

[17] Erath (1813-1891) migrated to America from Austria in 1832, moving to Robertson’s colony in Texas in 1833.  He served as a Texas Ranger under Edward Burleson during the Texas Revolution and subsequently served as a surveyor, member of the legislature supporting Annexation to the United States, Erath supported the maintenance of a Texas Ranger force.  He served briefly as a company commander of the 15th Texas Infantry, but resigned due to ill health, recalled by the legislature to command the new Frontier Regiment’s 2nd District.

[18] As a commander, Hunter was as bad as James Norris.

[19] Throckmorton (1825-1894) was a physician, lawyer, Texas Ranger, politician, and Governor of Texas in the aftermath of the Civil War.

[20] Brown (1820-1895) was a newspaper man, a historian, soldier, and legislator serving under Colonel John (Rip) Ford in the last engagement of the Civil War.


About Mustang

US Marine (Retired), historian, writer.
This entry was posted in American Frontier, American Indians, American Southwest, Civil War, History, Indian War, Pioneers, Texas, Texas Rangers. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Frontier Regiment

  1. Andy says:

    A vivid account of one of the most troubling time in frontier Texas.

    Well done, my friend, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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