Chapter I
"Our trail was a long graveyard" Arkansas, Missouri, and the Indian Territory, 1862-1863

In late July, 1862, three Texas cavalry regiments were loosely brigaded for the first time, along with some Indian regiments, under Colonel Douglas H. Cooper near Fort Smith, Arkansas. For the next three years, mounted and dismounted, through the numbing cold of winter snow and the sultry summer heat of swamps, the 22nd Texas Cavalry, the 31st Texas Cavalry, and the 34th Texas Cavalry formed the nucleus of a Confederate brigade which fought from Missouri to Louisiana in defense of the Trans-Mississippi Department. In the summer of 1862, however, all three were still raw regiments, none having been in combat during its three to six months of service.

The 22nd Texas Cavalry had been recruited in Fannin, Grayson, Collin, and surrounding counties of North Texas during the winter of 1861-1862. Robert H. Taylor, a prominent lawyer and former member of the Texas legislature from Bonham, raised the regiment and became its first colonel. Thirty-six years old in 1861, Taylor had commanded a company of Texas Rangers under John C. Hays in the Mexican War and had opposed secession until the Civil War began. As lieutenant colonel the Texans chose William H. Johnson of Paris, an Alabama-born lawyer and former state legislator. Johnson was best known as one of the eight members of the Texas Secession Convention who voted against the secession ordinance. James G. Stevens, a tall, dark-haired, thirty-eight year old, Alabama-born trader from Hunt County, had been elected major.1

____________________
1
Bob Taylor to Ben [H. Epperson], November 20, 1861, Benjamin H. Epperson Collection, Archives, University of Texas Library; Clarksville Standard, September 6, 1856, December 21, 1861; Dallas Herald, January 8, 29, 1862; Ernest W. Winkler, ed., Journal of the Secession Convention of Texas, 1861 ( Austin, 1912), 49, 406; William DeRyee and R. E. Moore, comps., The Texas Album of the Eighth Legislature, 1860 ( Austin, 1860), 178; Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 ( Austin, 1939), 15, 20, 35; Ralph A. Wooster, "Analysis of the Membership of the Texas Secession Convention," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, LXII, 332; James G. Stevens Carded File, War Department Collection of Confederate Records, National Archives.

-1-

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