Second Texas Lancers
ROSTER OF CO. B, 24TH REGIMENT, TEXAS CAVALRY IN MARCH, 1862
CARTER'S BRIGADE: FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD TEXAS LANCERS
THE BATTLE OF ARKANSAS POST
A note to my readers:
In the late sixties, I began researching the history of my family; I was in my twenties. Research progressed slowly, because in those days (the olden days) we had only snail mail and our typewriters; no computers, no internet. I usually ordered copies of the records that I was interested in, learning to do my own transcriptions and not to depend on the transcriptions of experts. In doing so, I became an expert on my own families.
Realizing that gems of family history and many biographical details can be found in military records, I began a systematic plan to order every page of every record ever created on the military and pension histories of my relatives and their in-laws. This diligence paid off, I was richly rewarded.
I was always interested in the life stories of my various ancestors, so I kept chronological accounts of their lives, adding details as I found them.
I realize now that it is time to share the histories and the stories of a few of the men in my family, and their comrades, who put their lives on the line to fight for what they believed was right. The following pages tell what I know about Captain Wooldridge's Danville Mounted Riflemen, Seventeeth Brigade, Texas State Troops. In 1862, about half of the Danville Mounted Riflemen joined Capt. S. D. Wooldridge’s Company, Second Texas Lancers. The Texas Lancers were also known as Col. Carter’s Brigade. The men under Captain Wooldridge were later designated as Co. B. 24th Regiment, Texas Cavalry (dismounted).
I visited the National Monument at Ft. Hindman, Arkansas Post, Arkansas, on May 19, 2003. There, Great-Grandfather James McCan and his brother-in-law Captain S. D. Wooldridge, along with almost everyone in their company, were captured by Federal troops and transported up the Mississippi on steam ships, to spend the winter in northern prisons. Arkansas Post Park Ranger Eric Leonard gave me materials which shed light on the significance of the battle and on what became of the Confederates who were captured there.
An article I wrote concerning my visit to the Arkansas Post, was published in the Montgomery County quarterly in August 2003. It is entitled Following the Path to the Rifle Pits.
Also visiting the memorial at Arkansas Post was Karen Lawless, in November 2003. Her third-great-grandfather, Peter B. Irvine, was killed in the battle and was buried in an unmarked, mass grave. You may read her story and see photos of her visit to Arkansas Post.
In addition, you may read Ranger Eric Leonard's answers to questions she later asked him concerning the location of burials and of the rifle pits at Arkansas Post.
I will be happy to answer questions, or to post your photos of any of the men on these pages.
Karen McCann Hett
HISTORY OF THE DANVILLE MOUNTED RIFLEMEN
SEVENTEENTH BRIGADE TEXAS STATE TROOPS
As the threat of a war loomed closer, local companies were formed in Texas as militia units under elected officers. A company calling itself the Danville Mounted Riflemen was formed at Danville,, Montgomery County, on May 4th, 1861, under a State of Texas military law. The company was incorporated on September 13, 1861 with Samuel D. Wooldridge elected as captain and commanding officer. Samuel was a physician.
The incorporation was sworn before John E. George,, Justice of the Peace for Montgomery County and was filed for record at 9 O’clock A. M. on September 23rd by Appleton Gay, Clerk of the County Court of Montgomery. The incorporation papers were then filed in Deed Book Volume U, pages 517-518.
The first muster roll included men from Montgomery and surrounding counties, many of them related to one another. The ages of these men ranged from the mid-teens to the mid-sixties. Two other muster rolls exist, one date September 13, 1861 and the second one dated February 14, 1862.
On the February 14th muster roll is written the following note: Forty-two of this roll are married men heads of families. The company has drilled once every week since its formation and them (sic.) has left its ranks for active service about thirty. The company is armed with shot guns and rifles about an equal number of each. This company has been reported to Genl Hebert and was accepted by him to be called immediately into active service in case of invasion.
ROSTER OF DANVILLE MOUNTED RIFLEMEN
Comanding Officer: Samuel D. Wooldridge
Orderly Sergeant: Peter Pincham,
W. G. Adams E. A. Anderson J. R. Baugass William B. Brake B. F. Cates Daniel L. Chambers John F. Chambers John H. Chambers Thomas Chambers Reuben Childers Charles Fowler Samuel Fox John E. George Anthony Gibson Moses Graham Wiley Green John A. Guynn James H. Hall John Hardy William Harrison John C. Hoskins John H. Hostetter James W. Hulon John Hulon William Hulon B. F. Irvine Peter B. Irvine J. G. Kellett J. M. Kellett S. L. Kelsey Thomas E. King Eldon Lewis John McClanahan Lewis Elijah Lindley John Lindley James Lindley Hiram Little Jonathan Little E. A. Long James McCarley Marion A. McCrory Alexander McGilvary James R. McIntyre Jesse McIntyre Thomas M. Malone William F. Malone S. B. Mayfield George J. Nichols James H. Norsworthy Wm. Hamilton O'Banion John R. O'Banion William Perry Peter Pincham G. J. Quick George W. Reding John B. Reding Augustus Richards William D. Rogers David E. Roten E. E. Sandell William J. Seale Thomas J. Spear Barbee Tarpley Samuel Terry Francis Marion Thomason Jabez S. Thomason James B. Thomason Roland K. Truitt William W. Viser William Waters George W. Webb Samuel Weisinger John D. G. Whitten John T. Westmoreland Joseph M. Westmoreland John C. Woodson William Henry Woodson Edmond D. T. Wooldridge Capt. Samuel D. Wooldridge A. V. Worthy
The muster roll names above were abstracted from the two muster rolls on file in the Texas State Archives.
Further information about the Riflemen is found in the records of the Texas Archives. The organization was designated as Danville Mounted Riflemen, Montgomery County, Seventeenth Brigade, Texas State Troops. They were organized under the Act of February 15, 1858. Two muster rolls are on file in the Archives, dated September 13, 1861 and February 14, 1862. These rolls list additional volunteers. The total of individuals appears to have been about seventy-seven.
Muster Roll Danville Mounted Riflemen, February 14, 1862, Texas State Archives
Forty-two of the men were married and were heads of families. The company drilled once a week after its formation. About thirty left for active service. Armed with shotguns and rifles, the company reported to General Hebert for active service in case of invasion.
HISTORY OF COMPANY B, SECOND TEXAS LANCERS, 24TH REGIMENT TEXAS CAVALRY, CSA (DISMOUNTED)
A few months later, forty-four of the Danville Mounted Riflemen joined Capt. S. D. Wooldridges Co., 2nd Regiment Carters Brigade Texas Lancers.
A Danville plantation owner, Green Wood, wrote the following in his journal:
7th MONDAY Therm. 70 at Sun rise cloudy rose to 80 Rained
½ past ten last night heavy rain strong West wind & Thunder
Capt. Wooldrige & company left this morning
This journal entry records Captain Wooldridge and his former Riflemen riding off to join Colonel Carter.
The first muster was at Camp Carter near Hempstead, Texas, on April 24, 1862. There were ten companies, A through K, in what was also called the 2nd Regiment Carter’s Brigade Texas Mounted Volunteers. Dr. Wooldridges company was Company B.
Camp Carter, a training ground for cavalry, was on a plantation owned by Leonard Waller Groce in Waller County. The town of Hempstead was to become a Confederate supply and manufacturing center, according to the Handbook of Texas Online, and a Confederate military hospital was established there. (Note: Leonard Waller’s home, Liendo Plantation , now hosts the Gulf States Living History Association and sponsors Reenactment events.)
The following list has been compiled from the microfilms of the service records of the men of the 24th Regiment Texas Cavalry. The films were accessed at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro, Texas.
W. G. Adams Alexander, Negro J. R. Baugass Henry Ellsworth Bell John T. Bolton William B. Brake Andrew J. Brooks I. J. Burgess Daniel L. Chambers John F. Chambers John H. Chambers Oliver Perry Chambers Thomas Chambers Jefferson P. Childers Reuben Childers John S. Collard John L. Conn A. C. Copeland Timothy Cude M. L. Elam Charles B. Estill George Estill, Negro Milton Estill William Whitfield Forrest Charles A. Fowler Julius Gayle Henry R. Golden Thomas D. Golden G. J. Gooch Moses Graham Green, Negro Wiley Green John D. Grisset John A. Guynn William J. Guynn Samuel Turner Hayden Israel Hewitt John C. Hoskins /Thomas J. Hoskins James William Hulon Peter B. Irvine Adam M. King H. C. King Thomas E. King Charles Lawrence William B. Lawrence Eldon Lewis John M. Lewis Elijah Lindley James Lindley John Lindley Jonathan Little Henderson F. Malone Thomas Monroe Malone Francis M. Martin M. J. Milburn William C. Moore James M. McCan James McCarley Marion A. McCrory Jonathan T. McGary Alexander M. McGilvary James R. McIntyre Jesse C. McIntyre A. W. McKinney Nelson, Negro George J. Nichols Walter W. Nichols John W. Nobles James H. Norsworthy John R. OBanion John P. Pace David Henry Parker G. J. Quick John Baker Reding William D. Rogers Larkin J. Roten William W. Roten John Oliver Sandel Peter T. Sandel Worthy Sell, Negro John Smith Thomas Jackson Spear Barbee Tarpley Samuel Terry Francis M. Thomason Jabez S. Thomason James B. Thomason Samuel T. Walker William Walker John T. Westmoreland R. B. White John D. G. Whitten L. Williams, Negro James E. Wilson T. Alexander Wilson Thomas J. Wilson Robert L. Wood W. H. Woodson S. D. Wooldridge A. V. Worthy
CARTER'S BRIGADE: FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD TEXAS LANCERS
Col. George Washington Carter (1828-1901), a Methodist minister born in Virginia, was authorized by the Confederate Secretary of War to recruit a regiment for the CSA Army. When he returned to Texas, he raised three regiments instead of one. They were his own Twenty-first Texas Cavalry, Col. Francis Wilkess Twenty-fourth, and Col. Clayton C. Gillespies Twenty-fifth.
Francis Collett Wilkes, Commander of the Twenty-Fourth Cavalry
Photo courtesy of Confederate Research Center, Hillsboro, Texas
The regiments became known as Carters Lancers. They were organized to serve as a cavalry for the Army of the Trans-Mississippi Department. (1)
After training at Camp Carter at Hempstead, the troops assembled at Crockett, Texas, in early May and began marching toward Arkansas.
Food for three thousand men and fodder for their horses almost immediately became a problem. Since Carter's commission had not come through, he did not have the cash nor the authority to purchase supplies along the way.
A rare DOCUMENTA rare document was offered for sale on a website of a Confederate documents dealer; I purchased the document because of the insight it offers us concerning the whereabouts of the men on a given date, and the story it tells as to one of the men's methods for acquiring fodder for the animals.
(click the IMAGE or the word DOCUMENT to read about it.
Most of the companies of the Second Lancers crossed over the border from Louisiana into Arkansas on about the ninth or tenth of July and proceeded to their encampment at El Dorado.
According to the records of the Texas State Historical Commission, by mid-1862 the need for infantry was so great and fodder for horses was so scarce, that a number of units were unhorsed at El Dorado, Arkansas, under strong protest. This included all three regiments of the Texas Lancers, by order of General Thomas Hindman.
By studying memoirs and letters written by soldiers to folks at home, and by reading the reports of the captains of the various companies, I have been able to establish that it was at this point at which the three regiments of Lancers were designated as the 21st, 24th, and 25th Regiments Texas Cavalry (Dismounted.) However, Col. Carter's 21st Regiment was re-mounted and was attached to Parson's Brigade, and thus they spent the whole war in the Trans-Mississippi Department, west of the Mississippi River.
The horses of most of the dismounted regiments, including those belonging to the men of the 24th and 25th, were sent home in the care of details, one man per ten horses. Those in Captain Wooldridge's company who were detailed to take horses back to Montgomery County were Sgt. J. H. Chambers, First Lieutenant Moses Graham, Jonathan Little, M. J. Milburn, John Smith, Samuel Terry, R. B. White, and J. E. Wilson.
The 24th and 25th Regiments were assigned to Garland's Brigade, and were sent to Camp Holmes at Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, southwest of Pine Bluff. There they trained as infantrymen before being sent on to defend Ft. Hindman.
Infantry Troops in Arkansas
From Dept. of Arkansas Heritage
Sickness had been a problem for the troops all along the long march to Arkansas, with measles causing several deaths. At the time of the August muster, fully a dozen men were absent sick at Camp Holmes, either in the hospital or in the camp. Those absent sick were W. G. Adams, O. P. Chambers, J. P. Childers, John S. Collard, Henry Golding, Thomas Golden, Charles Lawrence, Elijah Lindley, F. M. Martin, Albert W. McKinney, William Moore, and William D. Rogers.
T. J. has been honored with a memorial marker at the reconstructed cemetery at Camp White Sulphur Springs. The members of The Sulphur Springs Historical Preservation Association are now applying for a marker to honor Wiley Green.
THE BATTLE OF ARKANSAS POST
The men of the 24th were sent to Fort Hindman at Arkansas Post, fifty miles above the confluence of the Arkansas River and the Mississippi. In the fall of 1862, the Confederate government had built earthwork forts along the Arkansas River, to block Federal access to the capital. The Union forces had gotten uncomfortably close to Little Rock earlier in the year. The forts would also provide a base from which Confederate gunboats could attack federal shipping on the Mississippi. (2)
General Thomas J. Churchill
The Confederate field force was under the command of Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Churchill. A significant portion of the defending Confederate infantry occupied a line of rifle pits one and a half miles in length. The Twenty-fourth Dismounted Cavalry was assigned a field position in the Rifle Pits. (See map below.)
Map Created by Brian K. McCutchen, Historian, National Park Service 2003
There were approximately 6,000 Confederate troops defending Ft. Hindman, of whom fewer than 5,000 were well enough to fight. On January 9, the Union troops landed late in the afternoon down river from the fort, with sixty transport ships and 33,000 men under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and Major General John McClernand. The fleet was under the command of Rear Admiral David Porter.
According to the article, "Arkansas Post, Arkansas County," the expedition included three ironclad gunboats, several timber-clad gunboats, and sixty transports.
Gunboats Steaming up the River
Confederate scouts watched the debarkation and came back to report to Churchill that half the Yankees in the west were after them. They knew there was no way out; but Lt. General Theophilus Homes at Little Rock sent orders that they were to hold out to the last man.
The Federals fired from the gun boats, driving the Confederates in the outer earthworks into the rifle pits. (3) Some of the men had to run a half mile and were picked off by Union troops.
Late in the evening of January tenth, after the Union army had finished the debarkation, they discovered that the Confederates were preparing to continue to resist despite the odds.
On the eleventh, Union artillery fired on the fort, and the infantry moved into position for an attack. After a thirty-hour battle, as the Federal troops gained a foothold, white flags began to break out along the Confederate line, and Churchill was forced to surrender. (4)
Newspaper Artist's Sketch of the Surrender of Arkansas Post
The story is told by Arthur F. Surovic in an article entitled, Union Assault on Arkansas Post. Meanwhile, the Confederate infantrymen in the rifle pits were losing heart. Amid the general deterioration in morale, someone in the ditch cried, Hoist the white flag, pass the word down the line. The message was quickly passed, and the white flags appeared all along the Confederate line. Churchill's distrust of the undisciplined Texans had proven to be valid: their unauthorized action turned a defeat into a rout. (5)
Churchill later reported that the 24th Texas Cavalry (Dismounted) was the first to raise the flag of surrender. He denied giving the surrended order, and the blame fell on the commander of the 24th, Col. Robert Garland. From this point on, there were bitter feelings toward the 24th Texas Cavalry. (6)
The battle of Arkansas Post has been recognized as a major turning point in the war. It eliminated the impediment to Union shipping on the Mississippi and strengthened the Federal supply line. Eventually, Vicksburg fell. (7)
In the battle of Arkansas Post, one hundred forty Confederate soldiers were said to be killed, eighty wounded, and nearly 5,000 captured. Another source indicates there were sixty killed. The dead included men from Co. B. 24th Texas Cavalry (Dismounted.) These were Andrew J. Brooks, Milton Estill, Peter B. Irvine, James B. Thomason, and R. B. White. Tho men from Company B escaped from the battle and found their way back to Texas, where they joined the 17th Consolidated Dismounted Cavalry in the Trans-Mississippi Department: Barbee Tarpley and Sam Terry. One who missed the battle because of illness, Jefferson P. Childers, also joined the 17th Consolidated.
Many people have asked this question: Where was the Confederate Cemetery at Arkansas Post? Where were our men buried? You may read what Arkansas National Memorial Ranger Eric Leonard has to say about these burials.
The Confederate prisoners were sent north to Illinois prison camps in violation of the Dix-Hill Cartel of 1862, under which they should have been exchanged for Union soldiers at Vicksburg. (8)
The Northern victory removed the threat to the supply line and thwarted a Confederate plan to make a sizeable thrust into Missouri. (9)
A Union Steamer Similar to the Ones on Which the Soldiers were Transported
The Confederate prisoners were put on board three Union steamers on January 12th, and were taken down the Arkansas River. At the point where it emptied into the Mississippi, the ships turned and steamed up the river, stopping briefly at Memphis, Tennessee. (8)
An Artist's Sketch of a Civil War Hospital
John F. Chambers was left in the hospital in Memphis. They then proceeded to St. Louis, Missouri, where fourteen of the injured and ill men of Company B were hospitalized. It was here at City General Hospital that the two sons of Mary Barrett McCarley Parker died within two days of one another: Henry Parker and James McCarley. A total of eight of our men of Company B died at St. Louis City General Hospital or at Gratiot Street Prison near the hospital. The others were Julius Gayle, Thomas Golding, Israel Hewitt, J. T. McGary, Thomas Chambers, and W. B. Lawrence.
The nine-day trip had been cold and miserable, both raining and snowing all the way. Many of the men arrived in St. Louis with frost bite or pneumonia. (10)
At St. Louis, the three hundred ten officers were put on a train and taken to Columbus, Ohio, and imprisioned at Camp Chase. Captain Sam Wooldridge was one of these, and his records show that he arrived there on January 27, 1863. The other three commissioned officers from Company B who were sent to Camp Chase were 1st Lt. Jabez Thomason, 2nd Lt. W. H. Woodson. and 2nd Lt. John M. Lewis
Camp Chase, Ohio, the Prison to which Confederate Officers were Sent
Food was plentiful at Camp Chase, and time was spent playing checkers, cards or whittling. (11)
The enlisted men did not fare as well as the officers; they were sent to Illinois. Some were imprisoned at Camp Butler, and others at Camp Douglas. Here, many died of disease and exposure. Those who died at Camp Butler were M. J. Milburn, George. J. Nichols, I. J. Burgess, J. R. Baugass, William B. Brake, G. J. Quick, M. L. Elam, and Charles B. Estill. James McIntyre managed to escape from Camp Butler, and he found his way back to Texas where he joined the Trans-Mississippi Department.
About the first week of April, 1863, the officers were marched to Columbus and boarded a train to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, they were again imprisoned. Here the men lost all the flesh that had been gained due to being fed only two meager meals a day. (12)
In late April, they were put aboard another steamer and taken down river to City Point, Virginia.
Meanwhile, the enlisted men were also sent to Virginia by a similar route. James M. McCan arrived there April 17, 1863 with 508 Confederate prisoners of war and fifteen citizens. Captain Samuel Wooldridge arrived in City Point on May 4, 1863, and he was paroled for exchange along with ninety-eight other Confederate prisoners. Jim McCan signed an undated parole.
Captain Wooldridge was admitted to a Virginia hospital, where he remained for about six months. When he was well enough to leave the hospital, he was sent back to Texas to serve in the Trans-Mississippi Department.
The rest of the men were exchanged east of the Mississippi, and the 24th Cavalry (dismounted) was consolidated with similar remnants of the 17th, 18th, and 25th Regiments Texas Cavalry. During the middle of May, they were sent by train to Tullahoma, Tennessee, to join General Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee.
At Tullahoma, the Texas men were constantly jeered at by the other soldiers due to the Arkansas Post surrender. The 24th Texas Cavalry (dismounted) was especially yelled at, they being the first to hoist the white flag. (13)
None of the officers would have them because of their reputation, but finally they were assigned to Major General Patrick Cleburne, and they became part of his division.
Major General Patrick Cleburne
In September, 1863, the remnants of the 24th fought in the battle of Chickamauga. Those who died in that battle were D. L. Chambers, J. H. Chambers, and Charles A. Fowler.
After nearly a year, parts of the 24th and 25th Regiments Texas Cavalry were united to form one field organization. About April of 1865, this portion of the regiment was consolidated with the remnants of other regiments in Granbury‚s Texas Brigade.
The Confederates surrendered April 19, 1865. The day after the surrender, they marched to Raleigh, North Carolina, reaching there April 22. From there they went to Salem and then to Greensboro, arriving on April 26. They officially surrendered and were paroled the same day, although the muster rolls for the 24th Cavalry show they were paroled on May 1.
Five hundred twenty-seven Texans were issued paroles; when they left Texas, each of the eight regiments numbered about a thousand men. (14) Jim McCan surrendered and was parolled three years nearly to the day from his enrollment in Co. B 24th Texas Cavalry, along with only seven others of the ninty-six men with whom he had started out.
The Texans left Greensboro on May 3, walking to the railroad fifty miles above Knoxville, Tennessee. They arrived May 22, then took the trail down to Knoxville, reaching Chattanooga the next day and arriving in Nashville on May 25. The following day, they boarded a steamboat and started down the Cumberland River and into the Ohio. They reached New Orleans on June 1, 1865.
There they remained until June 10, when they boarded another steamship for Galveston. They arrived June 13 and the next day boarded a train for Houston, arriving the same afternoon. From there, each went his own way. (15)
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