The Army of Mississippi combined with The Army of Tennessee
Joseph Johnston now commanded the Army of Tennessee and it was heavily engaged and out numbered as it pulled back. General Johnston knew that if he stood to fight without being able to pick both the time and spot that he would sacrifice too many lives needlessly. He waited for that time to present itself. Richmond was highly critical of him and President Jefferson Davis was never a supporter of him. The army in the field, however, loved him and supported him.
The battles and skirmishes are too numerous to go into much detail on this short essay. Instead the places were the 3rd Texas fought will be only listed. Ross’s Texas Brigade was adjacent to Wheelers Cavalry Corps during this period and participated very near the same engagements during this period. It is interesting to note that Texas was well represented in the cavalry. The Texas Brigade had the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 27th Cavalry Regiments. One of Wheelers Brigades had the 8th Texas Cavalry and the 11th Texas Cavalry Regiments. Mention is made by one of the 8th Texas Cavalry of the other Texas Cavalry in a letter home. From May 19 though July 3rd the 3rd Texas fought at Adarisville, Rome, the Etowah River, Cassville, Cass Station, Kingston, Cartersville, Allatoona, Ackworth, New Hope Church, Dallas, Marietta, Kennesaw Mountain, Powder Springs, Sandtown and Nickajack Creek.
On July 17th, 1864 General Joseph Johnston was replaced by General John Bell Hood as the commander of the Army of Tennessee. This marked the beginning of the end for the Army of Tennessee. Lon Cartwright of the 3rd Texas Cavalry wrote home and said that this, "was one of the worst blunders of our President and greatest misfortunes of the Confederacy."
From July 18 though the 24th Ross’s Texas Brigade engaged in sporadic skirmishes while on picket duty along the Chattahoochee to prevent a flanking envelopment as Hood’s Army of Tennessee was engaged at Peachtree Creek and Atlanta. The 3rd Texas regiment could only muster some 323 effectives. The roll showed some 596 but that was paper strength. Many were in hospitals, were with out horses and some were unaccounted for. On July 28th and 29th General McCook’s Federal Forces pushed toward the Chattahoochee River, over running the cavalry camp and pushing forward. General Jackson ordered Ross’s Texas Brigade to countermarch back in haste. Additionally, part Wheeler Cavalry corps was sent to check the Federal advance.
On the 29th, at LoveJoy Station both Ross’s Texas Brigade and Wheeler’s Cavalry Corps engaged the Federal Cavalry troops head on. This marked the first time that the Texans from these two Cavalry commands had fought side by side. A member of the 8th Texas Cavalry, Terry’s Texas Rangers wrote home, " At this battle the Rangers met the only other Texas Cavalry they had ever seen outside of the 11th Texas...some excellent Texas regiments."
On the 30th of July some of the heaviest, hand to hand fighting took place. The 3rd Texas Cavalry was charged three times by the Federal’s First Tennessee Regiment, known as the "White Horse Cavalry." The fighting was firce and was hand to hand. The engagement now evolved Union Major General McCook’s cavalry command and on the Confederate side, Lt. General Joe Wheeler’s Cavalry Corps, Jackson’s Cavalry, Ross’s Texas Brigade and Roddy’s Cavalry. General McCook, realizing the severity of it, stated "We must get out of this!," McCook became encircled and proceeded to try and fight his way out. The Eighth Iowa briefly captured General Ross but soon found themselves swarmed upon. The 3rd Texas cavalry cut the Iowa Cavalry Regiment to pieces. Of the 316 Iowans who started out on McCook’s raid, only 20 returned safely to Union lines. McCook was finally able to extricate his command at dusk, having suffered heavy casualties. McCook had captured artillery, ambulances, hundred of horses, and much equipment. This became the spoils of war and was then used by the Confederate to supplement their loses. Ross Texas Brigade only suffered 5 killed and twenty-seven wounded.