1865 and in Mississippi again
Soon Ross’s Texas Brigade was to be dispatched to Mississippi and would remain as some of the last Confederate Cavalry to operate in Mississippi. As February came, many of Ross’s men were given furloughs to go home on leave. This was the first time in over three years that leave was granted. Some just left without furloughs. Those that were left were mostly out of the war but did keep some semblance of order about them. They were consolidated around Yazoo City. Ross’s Texas Brigade was down to 550 on paper but scattered about. Realistically, he could muster no more than about 220 men.
The war officially ended for the Texas Brigade and the 3rd Texas Cavalry on May 8th 1865. General Canby issued blanket paroles for the men in Taylor’s district and that included Ross’s Texas Brigade. There were 206 men left of the 3rd Texas cavalry when they were surrendered or paroled as it was put at the time. They then began their march home. The Texans had crossed the Union lines and at the Big Black River. The remnant of Ross’s brigade boarded the USS. E H Fairchild’s and their horses were put on a barge beside the vessel. They made it to Natchitoches in Louisiana. From there they disembarked the Fairchild and made their own way home.
Finally, included in the images of the 3rd Texas Cavalry is undoubtedly the strangest of the images ever to be taken of a soldier. Dressed in a "uniform" of his own construction is Captain Samuel J. Richardson of the 3rd Texas Cavalry. His riding breeches are made from Leopard skin as well as the cover for his holsters. His image is included here as a reminder that the civil war was fought by individuals as diverse and the nation that was divided. There is little mention of him in the 3rd Texas Cavalry and none of his attire. It is left a mystery what happened to him and certainly left to one’s imagination as to his character.