27th TEXAS CAVALRY REGIMENT
CONFEDERATE STATES ARMY

 

Also known as

 

Whitfield's Legion - 1st Texas Legion

 

Whitfield's Cavalry;   Hawkin's Cavalry;   Broock's Cavalry

 

Holman's Cavalry;   Norsworthy's Cavalry;   Patterson's Cavalry

 

West's Cavalry;   Smith's Cavalry;    Bivin's Cavalry

 

Though it had been called a Legion, it never had assigned Infantry units or Artillery units which would actually make it a Legion.

 

At times it did have supporting Artillery and it dismounted Companies as Infantry.

 

It strength at reorganization in May 1862 was twelve Cavalry companies

 


 

 

 

 

          Whitfield's Legion, also known as the First Texas Legion and as the Twenty-seventh Texas Cavalry, was one of the two legions that Texas provided to the Confederate States Army. The other was Waul's Legion. Though a legion was properly a regiment of mixed arms, generally composed of infantry, cavalry, and artillery battalions, Whitfield’s regiment was composed of only Cavalry Companies.

 

         Captain John Wilkins Whitfield recruited in Lavaca County in 1861, and his company  was assigned to Brig. Gen. Benjamin McCulloch's Army of the West at Fort Smith, Arkansas. There it was combined with three other independent cavalry companies from Texas; Capt. E. R. Hawkins's from Hunt County, Company A; Captain James Murphy’s Company from Arkansas, Company B; Capt. John H. Broocks's from Saint Augustine County, Company C; and Capt. B. H. Norsworth's from Jasper County, Company E; to form Whitfield's Battalion, sometimes called the Fourth Texas Cavalry Battalion. Whitfield’s company became Company D, and Captain William Townsend replaced Whitfield.

 

        John Whitfield was promoted to major and assigned as the battalion's commander. The unit  fought in the Battle of Pea Ridge, also known as Elkhorn Tavern, Arkansas, on March 7-8, 1862, and had casualties and combat experience . The battalion was dismounted by order of General Van Dorn, and the horses sent back to Texas. Van Dorn’s Army moved east of the Mississippi River with the intent of supporting General Price. They were delayed by high water and Shiloh was fought without them.

 

         In May the battalion was augmented by eight new companies from Texas. General McCulloch had told Whitfield that if he recruited eight Texas Companies he could command a legion. The Arkansas company was transferred to Ras Stirman’s Arkansas battalion, and Whitfield’s battalion was re-designated as Whitfield's Legion. Someone at the Confederate Department of the Army designated the Legion as the Twenty-seventh Texas Cavalry Regiment.

 

         Its field-grade officers were John Whitfield as Colonel, Edwin Hawkins as Lieutenant Colonel, and John Broocks, Cyrus K. Holman, and John T. Whitfield as majors.  Assigned to the Army of West Tennessee it fought as infantry in Little’s Division at the Battle of Iuka, MS (September 19, 1862), and lost 19 killed, and 53 prisoners of war many of who were left wounded. Those who were able to march or ride a wagon wounded did so. Col Whitfield was carried away in an ambulance.  The battle was very fierce and the Texas units fought well. At Hatchie (Davis) Bridge, TN  (October 5, 1862), the regiment lost 80 more as wounded and prisoners and three more killed. Thus in the span of two weeks, it lost one quarter of a company KIA and another company and one half  wounded and on parole.

 

        The regiment was then remounted and assigned to a brigade consisting of the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 27th Texas Cavalry Regiments. Its commander was to be Whitfield, who he was still wounded and in the hospital. The Brigades first engagement in this new configuration was a raid on the Union Depot at Holly Springs, MS on 19 December 1862. The raid was successful and destroyed the depot and much of the railroad track and rolling equipment. The raid coupled with a raid by General Forrest in Northwest Tennessee caused General Grant to end his overland march and move back his time table to take Vicksburg for almost a year. The Brigade was commanded by John Summerfield Griffith who initiated and planned the raid.

 

        Colonel Whitfield was to be promoted to brigadier general in May 1863. He was at the Battle of Thompson’s Station in Van Dorn's Cavalry Corps but was not ready to command. For several months until his health failed Whitfield commanded what would become one of the western theater's most famous units. In December 1863 it became Brig. Gen. Lawrence Sullivan Ross's Brigade, the famed Ross's Texas Cavalry Brigade (see ROSS'S BRIGADE, C.S.A. in the Handbook of Texas Online) of the Army of Tennessee. There it fought in all of the principal battles in Alabama,  Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee during 1863 and 1864.

 

     Hawkins was promoted to colonel to command of the regiment. In April 1863 the regiment suffered its biggest embarrassment   With Lt Col Broocks in temporary command, 127 men were captured in a surprise early morning wake up by a Union brigade. Many escaped, and a few were wounded and left behind. These 127 were carried all the way to Ft McHenry, Maryland to be exchanged. A couple died in route, some escaped and some quit, joining the Union Army. 

 

       After the corps was disbanded in Tennessee because of Van Dorn’s assassination, the Brigade returned to Mississippi. The regiment was to be assigned to screen the Big Black River and to gather intelligence on Union action at Vicksburg. Though it helped the Southern cause, it was not enough in itself to relieve the city. After the siege of Vicksburg it was assigned to harass General Sherman’s Cavalry and attempt to keep his Army from coming to Meridan. This continued through the summer and fall of 1863 as unit morale went down because of the lack of rations and material and the lack of good missions. Some of the problem was brought about by General Stephen Lee messing with the unit’s organization. Finally in September Col Mabry was in command of the brigade and things began to change. In December Col Ross took over and Col Mabry went to a brigade in General Forrest command. From this point on the brigade began to reenter the war.

         In May the brigade joined General Johnston’s Army and began a continuous combat with Union elements of Sherman's Army for over 110 days. They fought as Infantry, did Cavalry charges, acted as skirmishers and as pickets. In August the regiment was worn down and on picket at a river crossing. They were to be at the point of Union General Kilpatrick’s Raid to capture Andersonville Prison and disrupt communications. The 27th was unable to stop a Division size force, but it and the brigade did slow them down, until General Jackson and his Division got into the battle. Soon they had Kilpatrick on the run, even though he had a larger force and superior weapons. He did escape and the regiment did lose troops, but the Union did not capture Andersonville or greatly disrupt the railroads.

 

        After the fall of Atlanta the brigade became part of General Hood's Army of Tennessee and continued on till the failures at Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee. During these battles the unit was used to screen, provide diversionary activities and generally stay out of the main battle.  The regiment was part of the rear guard and allowed Hood to escape back to Mississippi and the end of the war. When the regiment surrendered only about 210 men were left. Many had been given leave and were paroled in Texas. Others had just give up and gone home.

 

       They were surrendered by Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, commanding the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana, at Citronelle, Alabama between May 4-15, 1865. The regiment was located at Jackson, Mississippi at the time of the parole.

 

 

         Organized by the increase of the five companies of the 4th Cavalry Battalion to a regiment of 12 companies in May 1862 recruiting men from Clarksville, Red River County, Daingerfield, Titus County, and Paris, Lamar County, Texas and Polk County Arkansas. Company B, an Arkansas company was transferred to Ras Stirman’s Arkansas Battalion as Company H. Its letter was not replaced in the regiment, thus requiring Company N.

 

                                                                                                              Master Roster from Ron Brothers

 

27th Texas Cavalry Regiment by Company

              Handbook Of Texas on Whitfield's Legion

 

 

Co. A, previously Co. A, 4th Texas Cavalry Battalion, named the Titus Invincible from Daingerfield and Morris County                            

                          

 

   Co. B, previously Co. B, 4th Texas Cavalry Battalion, Murpheys Arkansas Company

 

  

   Co. C, previously Co. C, 4th Texas Cavalry Battalion, recruited in San Augustine, Texas

 

  

   Co. D, previously Co. D, 4th Texas Cavalry Battalion, recruited in Hallettesville, Texas

 

  

   Co. E, previously Co. E, 4th Texas Cavalry Battalion, recruited in Jasper, Texas

 

  

   Co. F, enlistees from Clarksville and Red River County

 

  

   Co. G, enlistees from Paris, Lamar County

 

Co. H, enlistees from Clarksville and Red River County.

 

  

   Co. I, named Titus Rangers from Daingerfield and the 11th Texas Cavalry

 

  

   Co. K, enlistees from Polk County Arkansas and 14th Arkansas Regiment

 

  

   Co. L, enlistees from Clarksville

 

  

   Co. M, enlistees from Daingerfield and Hallettsville

 

   Co. N, enlistees from Daingerfield and Co. I

 

Field & Service Company from all companies.

 

Regimental Data Sheet. The details of KIA, WIA, Died, Discharged, Deserted and more.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Officers

 

First Commander

 

                      John Wilkins Whitfield (Colonel, Brigadier General)

 

Field Officers

 

                     John H. Broocks (Major, Colonel)

 

                     Edwin R. Hawkins (Lt Col, Colonel)

       

 

                     Cyrus K. Holman (Major)

 

                     B. H. Norsworthy (Major, Lt Colonel)

 

                     John T. Whitfield (Major, Colonel )

 

                    George W. Patterson (Captain Adj)

 

 

                      Joseph L. Bryarly  (Captain ACS)

 

 

                      Robert J. Brailsford (Captain AQM)

 

                    Edward F.West (Captain Co. F)

 

                    Francis M. Smith (PVT Co E)

 

                   John M. Bivins (Captain Co H)

 


 

 

Assignments

 

April 1862 - Hobert's Brigade, Price's Division, Trans-Mississippi District

 

April - July 1862 - Hobert's Brigade, Price's-Little's Division, Army of the West

 

September - October 1862 - Hobert's Brigade, Little's-Hobert's-Green's Division, Price's Corps, Army of West Tennessee

 

October - December 1862 - Griffith's, Whitfield's Cavalry Brigade, Maury's Division, Price's Corps, Army of West Tennessee, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana

 

January - February 1863 - Whitfield's Brigade, 2nd Division, Van Dorn's Cavalry Corps,
Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana

 

February - May 1863 - Whitfield's Brigade, Jackson's Division, Van Dom's Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee

 

February 1863 - Whitfield's Brigade, Jackson's Division, Van Dom's Cavalry Corps,
Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana

 

June - July 1863 - Whitfield's Brigade, Jackson's Cavalry Division, Department of the West

 

July - August 1863 - Whitfield's Brigade, Jackson's Cavalry Division, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana

 

August 1863 - January 1864 - Whitfield's - Ross' Brigade, Jackson's Division, Lee's Cavalry Corps,
Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana

 

January - May 1864 - Ross' Brigade, Jackson's Division, Lee's Cavalry Corps,
Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana

 

July 1864 - February 1865 - Ross' Brigade, Jackson's Cavalry Division, Army of Mississippi

 

May - July 1864 - Ross' Brigade, Jackson's Cavalry Division, Army of Tennessee

 

August – January 1865 – Ross’ Brigade, Jacksons Division, Forrest Cavalry Corps, Army of Tennessee

 

February - May 1865 - Ross' Brigade, Jackson's Division, Forrest's Cavalry Corps,
Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana.

 


 

 

Battles and Engagements

 

Not all of the regiment was involved in every battle or engagement. Often two or three battalions or a detachment of half the regiment would be involved. Often they were used in concert with other brigade units, or replaced one another in the line or battle.

 

March 6 - 8 1862, Pea Ridge, Bentonville, LeeTown and Elkhorn Tavern, AR

 

April - June 1862, Corinth Campaign, MS

 

September 19, 1862,Battle at Iuka, MS (Skirmishers in front  of Little’s ‘Division)

 

 

October 3 - 4, 1862, Battle of Corinth, MS (Held in Reserve)

 

 

October 5 - 12, 1862, retreated to Hatchie River, MS (Skirmishers in front of Moore’s Division)

 

 

October 31, 1862 - Jan. 10, 1863, operations on the Mississippi R.R. from Bolivar, TN to Coffeeville, MS

 

December 3, 1862, skirmish at Oakland, MS

 

December 7, 1862, Engagement at Oakland, MS

 

December 20, 1862, Raid Against Union Depot at Holly Springs, MS

 

December 21, 1862, Davis' Mills, MS

 

December 24, 1862, Middleburg, TN

 

February 16 - 19, 1863, Yazoo Pass, MSYazoo Pass Expedition

 

March 5, 1863, Thompson's Station [or Spring Hill, TN]

 

May - July 1863, Vicksburg Campaign, MS

 

May 5, 1863, skirmish at Big Sandy Creek, MS

 

May 8, 1863, skirmish at Big Sandy Creek, MS

 

May 9, 1863, skirmish near Big Sandy Creek, MS

 

May 9 - 10, 1863, skirmish at Utica, MS

 

July 8, 1863, skirmish near Clinton, MS

 

July 9, 1863, skirmish near Jackson, MS

 

July 10 - 17, 1863, Jackson Siege, MS

 

July 20 - 21, 1863, operations against Scout from Memphis, TN

 

September 27, 1863, skirmish at Yazoo City, MS

 

September 28, 1863, skirmish by a detachment at Brownsville, MS

 

September 28, 1863, skirmish by a detachment at Canton, MS

 

September 29, 1863, skirmish by a detachment at Moore's Ford near Benton, MS

 

October 6, 1863, Garrison's Creek near Fosterville, TN

 

October 15, 1863, skirmish at Brownsville, MS

 

October 15 - 16, 1863, skirmish at Canton Road near Brownsville, MS

 

October 16, 1863, skirmish at Treadwell's Plantation near Clinton and Vernon Cross Roads, MS

 

October 16 - 18, 1863, skirmish at Brownsville, MS

 

October 17, 1863, skirmish at Clinton, MS

 

October 17, 1863, action at Bogue Chitto Creek, MS

 

October 18, 1863, skirmish at Livingston Road near Clinton, MS

 

October 19, 1863, skirmish at Smith's Bridge, MS

 

October 20, 1863, skirmish at Treadwell's Plantation near Clinton, MS

 

October 22, 1863, skirmish at Brownsville, MS

 

October 31, 1863, skirmish near Yazoo City, MS

 

January 16 - 18, 1864, skirmish at Grand Gulf, MS

 

February - March 1864, Meridian Campaign, MS, operations against the Expedition up the Yazoo River

 

February 3, 1864, action at Liverpool Heights, Yazoo River, MS

 

February 4, 1864, skirmish at Liverpool Heights, Yazoo River, MS

 

February 5, 1864 - March 2, 1864, operations against advance from Vicksburg to Meridian, MS

 

February 28, 1864, skirmish near Yazoo City, MS

 

March 5, 1864, action at Yazoo City, MS

 

March 22, 1864, engagement near Okolona, Ivey's Hill [farm], MS

 

April 20, 1864, skirmish near Mechanicsburg, MS

 

May 15, - September 8, 1864, Atlanta Campaign, GA

 

May 18 - 19, 1864, combat near Kingston, GA

 

 

May 26 - Jun 1, 1864, combats in and around Dallas, GA

 

 

June 10 - July 2, 1864, operations around Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain, GA

 

 

June 15, 1864, combat at Brush Mountain, GA

 

 

June 20, 1864, combat at Powder Springs, Lattimer's Mills, and Noonday Creek, GA

 

 

July - September 1864, Atlanta Siege, GA

 

 

July 2 - 5, 1864, operations on the line of Nickajack Creek, GA

 

 

July 4, 1864, combat at Ruff's Station (Neal-Dow's Station), Smyrna, GA

 

 

July 5, 1864, skirmish at Nickajack Creek, GA

 

 

July 5 - 10, 1864, operations on the line of the Chattahoochee River, GA

 

 

July 6 - 8, 1864, skirmish at Nickajack Creek, GA

 

 

July 9- 10, 1864, skirmish at Nickajack Creek, GA

 

 

July 18, 1864, skirmish at Buckhead, Nancy's Creek, GA

 

 

July 22 - 24, 1864, operations against Garrard's Raid to Covington, GA

 

 

July 22 - 24, 1864, action at Covington, GA

 

 

July 23 - Aug 25, 1864, siege of Atlanta, GA

 

 

July 27 - 31, 1864, Operations against McCook's Raid on the Atlanta and West Point R. R. and the
Macon and Western R. R. in GA

 

 

July 28, 1864, Flat Shoals, [Flat Rock Bridge, GA?]

 

 

July 29, 1864, action at Lovejoy Station, GA

 

 

July 29, 1864, action at Smith's Cross Roads, GA

 

 

July 30, 1864, action at Clear Creek, GA

 

 

July 30, 1864, combat at Macon, GA

 

 

August 16 - 22, 1864, operations about Kilpatrick's Raid on Atlanta, GA

 

 

August 18, 1864, combat at Camp Creek, GA

 

 

August 19, 1864, combat at Jonesborough, GA

 

 

August 19, 1864, combat at Red Oak, GA

 

 

August 19, 1864, combat at Flint River, GA

 

 

August 20, 1864, combat at Lovejoy Station on the Macon and Western R.R., GA

 

 

August 27 - 28, 1864, action at Fairburn, GA

 

 

 September 29 - November 3, 1864, Hood's operations in Northern GA and Northern AL

 

September 30, 1864, skirmish at Camp Creek, GA

 

 

October 9 - 10, 1864, skirmish near Van Wert, GA

 

 

October 1864 - January 1865, Franklin - Nashville Campaign, TN

 

 

November 22, 1864, action at Lawrenceburg, TN

 

 

November 24, 1864, action at Campbellsville, TN

 

 

November 24, 1864, action at Lynnville, TN

 

 

November 24 - 27, 1864, skirmishes near Colombia, TN

 

 

November 28, 1864, skirmish at Duck River crossing, TN

 

 

November 29, 1864, action at Columbia Ford, TN

 

 

November 29, 1864, skirmish at Thompson's Station, TN

 

 

December 1, 1864, action at Owen's Cross Roads, TN

 

 

December 5 - 7, 1864, demonstrations on Murfreesborough, TN

 

 

December 24, 1864, action at Richland Creek, TN

 

 

December 24, 1864, action at Lynnville, TN

 

 

December 25, 1864, action at King's Gap (Anthony's Gap, Devil's Gap) near Pulaski, TN

 

 

January 19, 1865, skirmish at Corinth, MS

 

February 17 - 18, 1865, operations against the Expedition from Eastport to Iuka, MS

 

May 4  - 24, 1865, surrender at Citronelle, and Jackson, MS

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies - Texas, (New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1995), p. 84 - 85

 

E. B. Long, The Civil War Day By Day, (Garden City NY: Doubleday Inc, 1971.

 

 Allen G. Hatley, The First Texas Legion, (Centex Press, PO Box 506, Eagle Lake, Texas 77434,   2004)

 

 

27th Texas Cavalry File, Confederate Research Center, Hillsboro, TX, 1997.

 

Marcus J. Wright, comp., and Harold B. Simpson, ed., Texas in the War, 1861-1865
(Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1965).

 

 


 

Some of the material on these pages was taken form a web site owned by Ron Brothers and from the Handbook of Texas Online. It may not be used for commercial purposes without the express consent of Ron Brothers, John  Rigdon, The Handbook of Texas On-Line, Myself and any other Organization concerned. None of the material was taken from Allen Hatley’s book, but some was used to verify when possible,