The 27th Texas Cavalry After Carter Creek, April 27, 1863

After the debacle at Carter Creek near Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee, the 27th took awhile to regain enough strength to operate as a regiment. They had to have new equipment and horses, items that the Confederacy was dearly short. Texas helped and the portion of the regiment not at Carter Creek and those that got away, were the basis or reorganization. No, they would never be the 12 company regiment that they had been. But their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Broocks stated that they would never be surprised again.

And surprised they were not. Over whelmed the were. For the first few months they would regroup along the Big Black and Yazoo Rivers. Familiar territory, and a good place to regain their confidence. At the Battle of Yazoo City, Mississippi they fought well. In early January after Ross had assumed command they ferried as many rifles as anyone to waiting troops in Arkansas working in the icy waters of the Mississippi. As  February came along the regiment was working the area of central Mississippi from Jackson south. They were in front of Sherman when he left Vicksburg and started to Meridian. Though completely out numbered, the brigade and the 27th fought well. Though they did not defeat Sherman, he did return to Vicksburg because he knew that the trip ahead of him would be very bloody. Sherman called the Texas Troops, dandies who just ran around the battlefield and had a good time and their slaves took care of them.

The Ross Brigade was an orphan in the wilds of the war. Far from Texas they had to ask, borrow and take food and fodder from the people of the South. There equipment and horses came from battles with Yankee units. Often they went without. Without shoes, boots, food and fodder. Their horses often ate before them, and that was a corn husk. The people of the North say that the South starved the Yankee prisoners at Anderson-ville and other prisons. In truth they fared the same as the Southern Soldier. In May of 1864, the Brigade was sent to the east from duty that they had been performing in Alabama. There they had been rounding up deserters and Union sympathizers.  Not glamorous duty, but necessary.

They arrived in the vicinity of Rome, Georgia, on or about the 15th and many fought in the first battle of the Atlanta Campaign. It is not known which specific companies fought but all four regiments of the brigade were there. They moved down the line toward Atlanta with General Johnston’s Army delaying Sherman’s Army at a great cost to both. The South could not replace those that fell, except for a few young soldiers who came to replace fallen brothers. The North had an excellent system that kept sending soldiers. Sherman lost over 35,000. It is probable that had the South kept up the attrition of Union soldiers, the mother’s of the North would have stopped the war.

The 27th fought the 18th and 19th near Kingston, Georgia, May 26th to June 1st at Dallas. From June 1oth to July 2nd around Marietta and at the Kenesaw Mountain battles, June 15th at  Brush Mountain, June 20th at Powder Springs, Lattimer’s Mill and Noonday Creek. In July they were along Nickajack Creek and then Ruff’s Station, at Smyrna, Georgia. The battle line was then along the Chattahoochee River, and the 27th found itself along the Nickajack, Nancy Creeks, small tributaries,  in various battles.

The combat was fought in various modes. The regiment would be inserted as Infantry, as flank guards, as reconnaissance, as rear guards. Where ever they were needed they went and fought as directed. Finally on the 22nd of July they were sent according to their history to stop Garrard’s Raid to Covington, Georgia, and then General McCook’s Raid. The 27th was part of the effort that finally cornered General McCook and his superior force, and then chased them back to Union lines. They fought in battles at Flat Shoals, Lovejoy Station and Smith’s Cross Road, Clear Creek and Macon, Georgia. After a few days of reduced combat, they began to here of another raid. They were on picket  when General Kilpatrick’s Division began its raid. It came right over the regiment. It was all they could do, to hold until another regiment of the brigade formed behind them. Then they would pull out and race to the rear to set up a new position. From August 16th to the 22nd they were in almost continuous contact with Kilpatrick’s Raid. They fought initially at  Camp Creek, then Jonesborough, Red Oak, Flint River, Lovejoy Station and then at a quite farm southwest of Atlanta, called Nash Farm. Here Kilpatrick and his Division were cornered, by a vastly inferior force, and were forced to flee for their lives. They chose a mass brake out over the Ross Brigade. They did not know that Ross’ Brigade at that time was under 800 in strength. They lined up and charged out, making their escape. They lost many men and much equipment and horses. Though Ross had been run over, he was relieved that he had also been resupplied. The last real battle of the Atlanta campaign for the regiment was a small one at Fairburn, Georgia. After that they scouted Sherman’s Army but fought no more battles.

In October they fought a small skirmish with Union Cavalry at Van Wert, Georgia. From then on they were part of the advance guard of General Hood’s Army during its ill fated campaign into Tennessee. There would be actions at Lawrenceburg,  Campbellsville, and Lynnville. There would be skirmishes at Columbia, at the Duck River crossing and action at Columbia  Ford, skirmishes at Thompson Station, Owen’s Cross Roads. They were part of a demonstration at Murfreesborough and they played a minor roll at the Battles of Franklin and Nashville, and then fought at Richland Creek, Lynnville and King’s Gap (Anthony’s Gap, Devil’s Gap) near Pulaski, Tennessee as part of the Brigade and General Forrest’s rear guard which allowed General Hood to retreat from Tennessee.

They fought two more minor battles in January and February in 1865 both in Mississippi. On May 13th they were paroled in the vicinity of Jackson, Mississippi. A regiment that had once held 12oo men was down to less than 200. They had lost a good number at Iuka and Hatchie Bridge. From then on the attrition came from continuous battle and fatigue. The biggest enemy at the start of the War was disease. Measles, Mumps, Typhoid and numerous other ailments daily reduced the regimental strength. After Carter Creek there were a lot of desertions for a while, but after the Atlanta Campaign started the desertions fell to almost zero. A man who was being held in the hospital until he was well, might loose spirit and desert, but those in combat did not. You could almost say the regiment lost one man per day. Iuka was an exception. The regiment fought a Division that day and lost only 19, but there had been several more wounded. At Hatchie Bridge, they again ran up against a Division. That day they had more captured. Thus were the ways of war. The regiment served well after Carter Creek. They could stand tall, even though the South lost.

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