A near disaster
On August 10th, General Wheeler was ordered to leave Hood’s Army of Tennessee on orders from Hood and to raid the Yankee supply trains. This left the remainder of Hood’s Cavalry forces to be the eyes and ears of the army and supplement his fighting forces in a kind of double duty. While on picket duty of August 10, 1864. Union Cavalry General Kilpatrick hit Ross’s Texas Brigade in force. They crashed through the pickets of the 6th Texas Cavalry near Camp creek. The 3rd was hit further down by early morning as they crossed the tracks at Fairborn. Here Ferguson’s brigade near the Flint River joined the Texans. The brigade was beaten back and by days end was only 18 miles south of the city of Atlanta, Georgia.
On the morning of the 20th, Union General Kilpatrick’s cavalry was now facing an Arkansas infantry brigade that had dug itself in to defend the railroad at Love Joy station. Pursuing them and now behind them were the four hundred horsemen of Ross’s Cavalry Brigade. Caught between the Arkansas and the Texans, three regiments of Kilpatricks Cavalry drew sabers and charged the cavalry hitting the 3rd Texas Cavalry Regiment. The 3rd Texas quickly dismounted and formed a firing line. They fired volley’s hoping to halt them and then with drew to their horses. The failed to make to their horses before the Union Cavalry rode over Ross’s brigade and scattered men and horses. Thought to have decimated Ross’s brigade Kilpatrick soon learned that though it appeared to be a rout, which it was not. The Union troops following up on the charge were to be hampered by a huge deluge of rain. The skies opened up and visibility was reduced to almost zero. This caused a total victory for the Federal Cavalry to be lost. Unfortunately the 3rd Texas was hit the hardest and lost three company commanders, four lieutenants, two sergeants, three corporals and eleven privates killed or captured.The captured officers were sent to Johnson’s Island on Lake Erie and the enlisted men were sent to Camp Chase near Columbus Ohio. A number of the 3rd Texas Cavalry failed to survive the Camp Chase interment. Several died from chronic diarrhea and bronchitis. The remainder of the captured officers and men of the 3rd Texas were furrowed and allowed to go home in May and June of 1865.
On the night of September 1st the 3rd Texas Cavalry watched from east of Jonesbourogh as Atlanta was put to flames and Hood’s Army of Tennessee burned all they could to keep it from falling to the Yankees and then withdrew from the city. As the Yankee army occupied the city of Atlanta on September 2nd, the 3rd Texas Cavalry was ordered to assemble at Lovejoy’s station with the remainder of the Army of Tennessee. The 3rd Texas as well as the whole of Ross’s brigade was now down sufficiently enough to have to be reorganized and adjusted according to their numbers. The four regiments of Cavalry that were once organized with ten companies each were now to see their companies consolidated to five companies per a regiment. This left a surplus of a dozen or so officers who were assigned as scouts until their duties were needed again within the structure of the regiments. This seems to please all concerned.