Commanders of the 3rd Texas Cavalry during the War
Battleflags used by the 3rd Texas Cavaly during the conflict
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.
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 pistols, 226 Shotguns, 352 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
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.
Norwegians who served in the regiment during the war:
3rd TEXAS CAVALRY REGIMENT
(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).
(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.
(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