Commanders of the 3rd Texas Cavalry during the War 
3je TEXAS KAV kommandsjefer
Battleflags used by the 3rd Texas Cavaly during the conflict

3je 1te kampflagg3je 2re kampflagg3je 3je kampflagg








Texas was eager to get into the war, and General Ben McCulloch was raising a ten thousand-man force. He was calling for Texans to form a cavalry regiment, post haste, to join him at Fort Smith, Arkansas. A regiment of Texas cavalry was soon formed from east Texas and these boys were jubilant to join this famed Texan. They were being formed to combat a threat, or at least a believed threat, from Kansas and, in what then was called, Indian Territory. It was believed that northern sympathizers were going to spur people on, in Kansas and Missouri, into anti-slavery guerrillas. It was also feared that some of the Indians would be persuaded to join northern sympathizers. The Confederate government was convinced that the Jayhawkers were going to attack through Indian country. Thus, General McCulloch called for regiments of cavalry to join his force. There were several other cavalry regiments being form that would soon join this group. The "3rd" was the first to leave Texas.

General Ben McCulloch

Ben McCulloch had come to Texas with Davey Crockett. He has fought for Texas independence and was a veteran of the battle of San Jacinto and commanded one of the famous twin sister cannons. He had served as a Texas Ranger and led a contingent of Texans in the War with Mexico in 1847. He was a hardened Indian fighter. He had been a US Marshal, a Texas Legislator, and lead a group of Texans to forcethe Federal garrison at the Alamo to surrender themselves to the newly formed Confederacy of the State of Texas. He was the embodiment of Texas. He was a "Texas legend" in his own time.

The 3rd Texas Regiment was mustered into service in June of 1861 in Dallas, Texas. The Commanding Officers were Col. E. B. Greer, Lt. Col. W.P. Lane, and Major C.W. Chilton.
There were a total of 1097 mustered to fight. They were ready to enter the fight. They went well supplied for war. A train shipment of three-dozen freight-wagons arrived for them from San Antonio. This was part of the US arms stores that had been captured from General Twiggs, which McCulloch had demanded and received, at the surrender of the Federal garrison housed in the Alamo some months before. The train cars full of supplies included 4 six-pound cannons, the caissons, and the mules to pull them. The regiment was now armed with 1547 pistols226 Shotguns352 Long arms, 100 assorted carbines and 52 Sharps carbines.

Elections were held, and the Company Commanders were settled upon. They were:

Company A: Captain Thomas W. Winston, Eastern Harrison Co, Texas
Company B: Captain Robert H. Cumby, Rusk County
Company C: Captain Francis M. Taylor, Cherokee County
Company D: Captain Stephen M. Hale, Hunt & Fannin Counties
Company E: Captain Daniel M. Short, San Augustine & Shelby Counties
Company F: Captain Isham Chism, Kauffman & Dallas Counties
Company G: Captain Hinche P. Mabry, Jefferson County
Company H: Captain Jonathan L. Russell, Upshur County
Company I: Captain John Author Bryan, Cass County
Company K: Captain David Y Gains, Smith County

General_Elkanah B Greer

Elkanah Brackin Greer 
was born in Paris, Tennessee on October 11, 1825. He fought in the Mexican War of 1847 with the 1st Mississippi Rifles. In 1848, he moved to Marshal, Texas. Greer was the first Colonel of the 3rd Texas Cavalry and by wars end had obtain the rank of Brigadier General. He died on March 25, 1877.

Colonel E. B. Greer`s Cavalry Regiment, as the 3rd Texas Cavalry was known in the beginning, was the first Texas cavalry regiment to be mustered for out-of-state service. This regiment of Texas cavalry was not yet known as the 3rd Texas Cavalry. Richmond had not assigned numbers to its Confederate volunteer cavalry from Texas. The unit was officially sworn in on June 13, 1861. It soon headed toward the border of Texas and planning to join General McCulloch at Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Their first journey was to take them through Indian Territory, which comprised the present state of Oklahoma and was home to some 56,000 members of the Five Civilized Tribes (Nations). These tribes were the Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks and Seminoles. These tribes had also settled in Arkansas and parts of the Ozarks, which included portions of Missouri. The Confederate government had entered into negotiations with the various tribes and had encouraged the formation of four Native American cavalry regiments to fight for the South. The 3rd Texas traveled on what was known as the Texas road into the Choctaw Nation. When they arrived at Boggy Creek, they set up camp. On July 19th, two Choctaw ladies presented the unit with a regimental flag. The Choctaw put on a show for them in their honor and, "One thousand tawny sons of the prairie drawn up in a vast circle?heavy, whirling, racing round and round, singing, yelling the war whoop, firing pistols, all wild and delirious with excitement."

The regiment continued on its journey and arrived at Fort Smith on July 27th. There, they discovered that General McCulloch had left toward Missouri and that they were to proceed post haste to join them.


 fl norge thumb


Norwegians who served in the regiment during the war:

(South-Kansas Texas Mounted Riflemen - Greer's Regiment)

Mustered in 13 Jun 61 at Dallas. Dismounted 21 Mar - 5 Nov 62. Surrendered 4 May 65.


(1845/29) John J GRAGARD - Captain
(Acting Commissary & Subsistence Officer)

Appointed from Co E 1 Jun 63. Captured at Rolling Fork, Miss., 23 Jul 64. Exchanged near Vicksburg, Miss., 29 Jul 64.
D: 7 Jul 1899, Pass Christian, Miss. (New Orleans).

Co E

(1845/29) John J GRAGARD Private / 1st Sergeant

B: Hans Jacob Grøgaard 24 Dec 1836, Lillesand, Norway. Enlisted at Shelbyville 23 May 61 for 12 months. Appointed 1st Sergeant 20 Aug 61. Again private following the regiment's reorganization in May 62. Absent on special duty for the Commissary Dept. May - fall 62. Appointed Acting Commissary & Subsistence officer 1 Jun 63, and assigned to the regimental staff with the rank of Captain.

(1845/31) Nicholas C GRAGARD - Private / 1st Sergeant

B: Christian Nicolai Keyser Grøgaard 17 Oct 1840, Lillesand, Norway. Enlisted at Shelbyville 3 Jun 61 for 12 months. On extra duty to procure horse May - Jun 63. Transferred to Co F as 1st Sergeant between Sep 63 and Apr 64.

Co F

(1845/31) Nicholas C GRAGARD - 1st Sergeant

Transferred from Co E between Sep 63 and Apr 64. Wounded 14 Jun 64, Lost Mountain, Georgia. Absent wounded Jun - fall 64. Rejoined his regiment at Canton, Miss., and was placed on detached duty as Commissary Sergeant fall 64 - ? Paroled 13 May 65, Jackson, Miss. D: 7 Sep 1919, Jacksonville, Texas.

Co G (Dead Shot Rangers)

(1851/46) Oley J FOSS - Private

B: Ole Johannesen Alfstadsæter 10 Aug 1843, Vestre Toten, Norway. Enlisted at Jefferson 3 Jun 61 for 12 months. Absent sick Jul - Aug 62, and Mar - Apr 63. Captured 15 Oct 63, Brownsville, Miss. (not exchanged). D: 27 Oct 1927, Seattle, Washington.

1847/10) Hans JENSON - Private

B: Hans Jensen Møglebustad 13 Nov 1836, Holt, Norway. Enlisted at Jefferson 3 Jun 61 for 12 months. Absent sick Jul - Oct 62. Wounded 5 Mar 63, Spring Hill, Tennessee. Sick in camp Jul - Aug 63. Absent sick May - Jun 64. D: 6 Mar 1877, Bosque county, Texas (Norse).

(1847/12) Oley JENSON - Private

B: Ole Jensen Møglebustad 30 Jan 1841, Holt, Norway. Enlisted at Jefferson 3 Jun 61 for 12 months. Detached with the 21st (White's) Georgia Cavalry Battalion Mar - Apr 63. D: 1875, Anderson county, Texas ?

(1845/8) Christian A REIERSON - Private

B: Christian August Reiersen 17 Sep 1842, Kristiansand, Norway. Enlisted at Jefferson 3 Jun 61 for 12 months. (prev. pvt, Capt. A. T. Rainey's Company, Texas Volunteers) Detached with 21st (White's) Georgia Cavalry Battalion Mar - Apr 63. D: 6 Jan 1910, Bosque county, Texas.

(1845/12) Otto Th. REIERSON - Private

B: Otto Theodor Reiersen 7 Dec 1842, Strengereid, Holt, Norway. Enlisted at Jefferson 3 Jun 61 for 12 months. (Prev. pvt, Capt. J. Wharton's "Texas Wide Awakes", Kaufman county, 13th Brigade, TST) In hospital, Little Rock, Ark., May - Jun 62. Absent sick Jul - Aug 62. Wounded 5 Mar 63, Spring Hill, Tenn. Absent wounded Mar - Jun 63. On extra duty taking care of government mules Sep - Oct 63. Captured 14 Jun 64, Lost Mountain, Georgia. Imprisoned at Camp Morton, Indiana. Exchanged Mar 65 (?). D: ? (alive 1880).

Below we have the only picture of an Norwegian confederate cavalryman !
 2d Lieutenant John J Reierson 

REIERSON John H 20thTEXASCavalry 1895

Wilson Creek - Missouri

Bugler Albert B. Blocker was a member of Company A of the 3rd Texas Cavalry.
He is pictured here with a cavalry saber. The images in this text have been colorized to bring some realism to the black and white photographs of the period. It is probable that this image was taken later in the war as there is not a coat og tunic worn by Albert Blocker.

 The 3rd Texas Cavalry traveled, after some delay to Missouri and located after some time near Wilson Creek. Missouri was one of the most turbulent states dominated by the Mississippi River. The Confederacy wanted this state and was will to commit its resources toward those ends. The state had divided loyalties so this was not going to be an easy campaign. Governor Jackson of Missouri was determined to deliver his state to the Confederacy. Governor Jackson asked General McCulloch to intervene and save Missouri for the Confederacy. General McCulloch marched into Missouri on July 4th, 1862. The 3rd Texas and the cavalry command had moved under great haste to join the fray and found themselves joining McCulloch`s command in July. General McCulloch`s command was now nearing 10,000 strong and ready to fight. General Sterling Price was in command of the state guards and was goading McCulloch to engage the end. The General was not at all impressed with Price and knew him to be unproven in battle. In fact, he was hesitant to committee to do battle, as most of the troops were not yet ready. He nevertheless, decided to go forth with the battle. Before the appointed time of the battle was to commence, a rain began to fall.
The attack was postponed.

The Union Commander, General Lyons knew he was outnumbered and felt he had but two choices. He could attack or withdrawal before the Confederates attacked. He audaciously took the first and attacked on the Morning of the 10th of August.

At 5 30 am the Union army opened fired. This caught the Confederates by surprise and they hastily reformed. He achieved complete surprise and led four thousand men against General Price?s position. It took some time for the men to organize themselves and recapture their horses. As the battle loomed on, Colonel Greer was ordered to take his Cavalry and to the west and around Oak Hill to support General Price. The formation of the entire command was incomplete but most of the 3rd Texas did managed to engage the enemy. Many "saw the elephant" for the first time.

The Union General Lyons was killed in the battle. There was much confusion in the battle as the uniforms for both sides were the same color in many cases. Two of the 3rd Texas companies participated in hastily put together ambushes and caught several of the enemy in deadly crossfire and "did terrible execution with their short arms," The 3rd Texas was soon ready for its first charge. A man from the 3rd Texas wrote home and described it this way, " With a yell we went toward that line of blue like the wind ! On we went, pouring lead into the blue line that was standing there 50 yards in front of us, with fixed bayonets, prepared to receive cavalry. The next moment that blue line was a mass of running, stampeding soldiers trying to get out of the way of that mass of horses and men that was bearing down on them."

The 3rd Texas was credited with killing 64 men and capturing 147 men. There loses were 6 men killed and twenty-three wounded. The battle of Wilson`s Creek was particular bloody for this stage of the war. Overall casualties for both sides were about 2,500 killed wounded or missing.

During the next several months disease hit the Confederate troops and many died from the results of contracting measles and typhoid fever. The regiment lost 18 dead and 145 others were dropped from the rolls. McCulloch army was to be station in and around the area for some time. There was a brief threat from Union forces and this caused them to reenter Springfield Missouri on November 19th but the threat has dissipated.

General McCulloch finally worth drew its forces to Arkansas and the cavalry took winter camp about 12 miles east of Van Buren. During this time, three more cavalry regiments joined General McCulloch?s forces. They were the 6th Texas Cavalry, 11th Texas Cavalry and the 27th Texas Cavalry. Soon the 9th Texas Cavalry would complete the cavalry force from Texas but not before they had encountered another fight. These regiments formed what became known as the Texas Brigade. McCulloch had to contend with politics pointed in his direction from General Sterling Price and left to go to Richmond and try and put out the fires. This put Lt. Colonel James M. McIntosh of the second Arkansas Mounted Riflemen in charge while he was gone.


Battle of Chustenahlah in Indian Territory

On December 26, 1862 during severe cold, the Confederates moved toward the strong hold of Opothle Yahola who had Creek horsemen and Seminole braves guarding his strong hold. The place was known as Chustenahlah. It meaning was derived from in the Cherokee tongue, "a shoal in a Stream"

The Creeks were located upon a ridge and a charge was not considered a good military move by any standards. However, MacIntosh, the Confederate commander, ordered one anyway. The 3rd Texas was to charge up the bluff. The 11th Texas followed the defile up one side and make ready for the signal while the 6th circled to the right and wait for the signal. At the signal of the bugle, they all converged. The face of the bluff was too steep for the horses and companies A and B of the 3rd Texas were dismounted and took to the hill on foot. Arrows and boulders rained down but incredible the 3rd Texas made it to the top. Opothleyahola?s forces were routed. There was some fierce fighting as the Creeks fled northward into the hills. Some of the Confederates engaged in the battle took scalps of the fallen Indians as their enemy would have done the same to them.

The 3rd Texas Cavalry lost five dead including Lieutenant Ben Durham, former sheriff of Anderson County. Chief Opothleyahola lost some 250 braves, and had captured 160 women, 21 former slaves, thirty wagons, seven yoke of oxen, five hundred ponies and several hundred heads of cattle.

Pea Ridge - Arkansas

PeaRidge 1862 banner













The Confederacies top General at the time, Albert Sidney Johnston, appointed Major General Earl Van Dorn to the command of the newly created Trans-Mississippi District. This included Texas and Texas troops. He was to command General Price’s seven thousand-man command, General Albert Pike’s four regiments of Confederate Indians and the soldiers under General Ben McCulloch, which of course included the men of the 3rd Texas Cavalry. When General Van Dorn arrived and took command on March 3rd he stated so all could hear, " Soldiers: Behold your leader! He comes to show you the way to glory and immortal renown." Van Dorn was a vain man, sold on himself and somewhat of a ladies man. This personality fault would lead to his undoing. His subordinates must have recognized these traits but followed his orders as they were soldiers and sworn to do so.

The battle now know as Pea Ridge commenced on March 7th and was to be a turning point for the 3rd Texas Cavalry and indeed the four Texas Cavalry Regiments in Van Dorn’s command. As the battle commenced and progressed Van Dorn’ had some success on the eastern end of Pea Ridge. He was, very sick during the battle and had to be moved along by a cart. His command was said to be a bit precarious but taken none the less. Pike’s Cherokee were successful in attacking a Federal Battery and as was their nature in battle, took several scalps. A portion of the Confederate forces took the tavern and by nightfall bivouacked south of the landmark. General McCulloch had not been as successful. McIntosh mounted a second attack and failed to successful follow through. The Confederate commands lost contact with each other and had actually fought two separate engagements with in the same battle.

Repeated attempts were made by Colonel Greer to contact McIntosh and McCulloch, with no success. Finally, at the end of the day, Col. Greer went looking for them himself. He found that they had both been killed and found Colonel Hebert had been captured. As the now senior officer, Col. Greer now in over all command. Greer collected the scattered Confederate units into a bivouac on the battlefield as darkness closed in.

The 3rd Texas was nearly unscathed as it was only lightly engaged at what was called the battle of Pea Ridge and known to them as Elk Horn Tavern. They had been used a reconnaissance and guards for most of the battle but did see a little of the fight. Van Dorn could have claimed a victory but let the victory slip from him and was only saved from a decisive defeat because the Federals did not pursue. Hunger proved to be a strong factor for Van Dorn’s in ability to pursue the Federals as most of his men were without substance. Had the Federal counter attacked, they would have been hit in a disorganized Confederate army as most were out foraging for food immediately after the battle. With McCulloch and McIntosh dead, the promising careers of these two fighters would be lost and reorganization would take some political maneuvers until the commands were solidified.

Van Dorn, being somewhat egotistical and thrilled with himself refused to take the blame for the defeat.

The end result of the battle saw the Confederacy to lose any claim they had on Missouri.


Corinth, Mississippi

As the 3rd Texas was now under Van Dorn’s Cavalry Corps and the entire command was ordered to Corinth, Mississippi to stop a Yankee advance. Many of the Confederate troops had never been far for home and were still in their late teens. Some of the 3rd Texas boys took a ride on a train for the first time in their lives.

As the army assembled near Corinth disease again began to over take the troops. Some 50 men of the 3rd Texas Cavalry perished from lethal fevers and infections contracted at Corinth. General Beauregard realized that he could not hold Corinth and planned a deception to fool the enemy into thinking he was still there with his army while he was secretly pulling them all out. The 3rd Texas played an important roll in this. Beauregard ordered Van Dorn to mount a demonstration against the enemy to mask the retreat. Van Dorn detached Col. Lane and the 3rd Texas to advance at sunrise toward the enemy’s earthworks and draw out the Yankee skirmishers. With hundreds lying ill, Lane could only muster 246 men. He led this little band on a double-quick several hundred yards though the abatis of felled timber to with in fifty paces of the union Picket line. They were placed in a position to either do or die since retreat would trap them in the labyrinth of the abatis. "Drawing fore from the entrenched Yankee Pickets, the Texans dodged behind whatever cover the ground afforded. Each man took a tree, and after discharging his firearms and reloading from that position, would advance to the next cover and repeat the performance." Lane then ordered a charge, " Screaming like demons, the Texans drove the union pickets out of their holes and into their own earthworks some four hundred yards to the rear."



Walter Page Lane was born in Ireland on February 18, 1817. He immigrated to the United States in 1821. Lane came to Texas and fought at the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836 in Henry W. Karne’s cavalry unit.


All day long, Lane’s little detachment held this position against three regiments of the enemy, while Beauregard evacuated Corinth. Before it was finished the 3rd Texas Cavalry lost eight killed and nine wounded. By nightfall Lane ordered his exhausted men hold their position until midnight while Beauregard completed his evacuation. Utterly spent the 3rd Texas Cavalry finally left and walked down the then deserted streets toward Tupelo.

After the War for Texas Independence, Lane fought the Indians and was wounded in 1838. Lane served in the Mexican war of 1847 as a 1st Lieutenant in Kit Archland’s Texas Ranger Company. Lane was commissioned a Lt. Colonel of the 3rd Texas Cavalry in 1861 and fought with them through 1862. He was later transferred and fought in Louisiana as a brigade commander. He received his commission to Brigadier General as one of the last acts of the Confederate Government. General Lane died in Marshal Texas on January 28, 1892.

By the summer of 1862, the 3rd Texas had only 388 men fit for duty on its rolls. Many of the men suffered from chronic diarrhea. All the surgeon had to offer for any illness was opium. At sick call he would carve out a lump of opium, "as big as a cannon ball" and was then mix down into little pills. These "pills" were given for such thinks as a "hurting in my stomach," "a misery in my head" and "a chill". Whatever the symptoms the cure was the same.