Mission to Mission
Ross’s Texas brigade was heavily engaged throughout the war and was never able to rest long. They were sent back toward their previous campground to reconnoiter which was in an area overlooking the Yazoo River. There on the 28th of February they engaged a Federal Cavalry force of about forty men who had stumbled up on a whole Confederate brigade. They opened fired and then withdrew. They were mounted on mules and no match for the Rebel Cavalry and were outflanked and destroyed.
On March 5th, having been joined by some 550 Tennessee Cavalrymen the Texas Brigade attacked the Federal Forces under the Command of Major George McKee. The overwhelmed them and the battle lasted for a day until nightfall. Yankee re-enforcement’s arrived the next morning fortifying the resistance to odds in favor of the Yankees.
The 3rd Texas Cavalry was to be a part of one more mission before leaving the area. The were part of a raid on Syder’s Bluff where they were to destroy a plantation to keep it’s cotton from falling into enemy hands. The raid was conducted with the 9th Texas Cavalry and was highly successful. They hit a squadron of Black cavalry, dispersed them, killing some 30 of them, destroyed all of the equipment, burned the gin, captured about a hundred mules and rode back unscathed.
General Red Jackson’s Division, of whom the Texas Brigade was part, was ordered by General Polk to proceed to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They arrived on took up the line on April 4th 1864.
Seeing duty as pickets and reconnaissance, Ross’s Texas Brigade was sent with the Army of Mississippi to Rome Georgia. On May 4th, the Texans proceeded and rode 150 miles arriving on May 14th. The next day they went into battle. They were to be engaged continuously for the next 112 days.
Private Lon Cartwright served in Company E of the 3rd Texas and rose in the ranks. He is seated here in a poised image taken in mid-war. He wears an officer’s frock coat and knee high cavalry boots. He is wearing the regulation 1851 officer’s belt and buckle and is armed with a revolver. Though hard to make out, he also has a sheaf knife in his belt as well.