INDIAN TERRITORIES - NOV.- DEC. 1861; Operations against Union
Organized Indian forces.
Description of the 6th Texas Cavalry in these battles is limited, but the 6th
did have a detachment involved that had combat experience against Indians. It is most likely
they excelled and were extremely capable. Col. Griffith commanded a force that charged the
Indians in a defensive position and caused a general route. Following these battles Union
power in the IndianTerritories was destroyed for over a year.
BATTLE of PEA RIDGE (ELKHORN TAVERN), BENTONVILLE, LEESTOWN - March 6-8, 1962
The regiment was at these locations and involved to some degree, but after lining up for battle
and an initial charge, nothing else happened. Orders failed to come because two commanding
generals were dead and a third was captured. General Van Dorn decided to leave the field
because of the communication problems and a lack of ammunition. Though the Union had
been stopped, the failure to finish them off caused marale problems for the southern troops.
Iuka, MS - 19 Sep 1862
The Sixth was given the responsibility to occupy the ridge overlooking the town and was not
involved in the subsequent battle. Any one killed or wounded were collateral damage from
errant cannon and mini balls.
CORENTH II, MS - OCT. 3-4, 1862:
General Van Dorn fainted toward Iuka and toward Tennessee, and then looped around to
attack Corinth from the north west. Rosecran’s union force was not surprised.
General C. W. Phifer's Brigade consisted of:
3rdArkansas Dismounted Cavalry Regiment
6thTexas Dismounted Cavalry Regiment - Col Lawrence S. Ross
9thTexas Dismounted Cavalry Regiment - Col. Sims
Ras Stirman's Sharpshooter Regiment
McNally's Arkansas Battery - Lt Frank A. Moore
K-0Â W-2 M-9 = 11
Hoxon's Tennessee Battery - Lt Thomas F. Tobin (C)
Alabama Artillery Battery - Capt. Henry H. Sengstak
K-1, W-4 M-14 = 19
Phifer's Brigade was not in direct contact on line on the 3rd, but followed behind Moore's
Brigade. As the battle continued, the brigade worked its way down the Memphis Road and
the Mobile and Ohio Railroad bed to a point where the 6th was on Phifer's right flank
facing the Ohio 27th Infantry Regiment. The regiment made several charges and late in
the evening was in position to continue the next day. The battle resumed the next morning
and ammunition and personnel began to run short late in the day. The Sixth had achieved
some breakthroughs but needed relief. The unit assigned to relieve them did not come.
Company I of the 6th and Company H of the 9th were attached to Stirman's Sharpshooter
Regiment and probabily made it into the center of town, in the vicinity of Rosecran's
Headquarters. They were low on ammunition and manpower. The 15th and 23rd
Arkansas Regiments had followed the sharpshooters into the seam between the 39th
Ohio and the 50th Illinois and they were used up also. The mportance of the reserve
divisions is now seen, as the Union reserve divisions arrived and the Southern Divisions
did not. The failure of supporting divisions to arrive has been a question for years.The
arrival of fresh Union divisions sealed the end.
Without the main ingredients of battle, General Van Dorn saw no recourse, but to retreat,
and called for his forces to break contact. The fighters on both sides could not move. They
managed to break contact, but the actual retreat did not start till the morning of the 5th.
How close had the South come to winning this battle?
HATCHIE BRIDGE, MS – OCT. 5- 8, 1862. The retreat started on the morning of the 5th. The
leading units were the 27th Dismounted Texas Cavalry, Moore's Brigade and an Artillery
Battery. When they hit the Union blocking force they were destroyed. All were in a killing
zone. Stirman's Regiment had just crossed the bridge and the 6th was in the process. Sul
Ross had the companies that were still on the bridge move to the far bank to provide
covering fire. Everyone from Stirman's Regiment that could re-crossed the bridge. My
Grandfather probably jumped from the bridge to the bank and broke his arm. He was lucky,
he was captured. Many were killed or shot up in the wild melee. The Sixth took up positions
and performed the essence of rear guard action. When General Moore passed General
Ross, he told him to run for his life. Ross did not. As forces made it back across the
or arrived, they took up positions, until they had their own killing zone. Three regiments of
Union forces were destroyed trying to cross the bridge in pursuit of the Confederate
forces. Soon the battle ceased and the southern forces found another way around the
bridge. Cabell's Brigade had reinforced Ross along with an Artillery unit. This blocking
in place until late in the night and were the last to cross the river further south the next
morning. The union forces followed, but not closely. The 6th lost a Chaplain on the 8th
because of a Union sharpshooter. They first made it to Holly Springs and then moved
further south to the Grenada area, which was more defendable terrain. The prisoners were
paroled and the walking wounded returned to their units within a few days.
HOLLY SPRINGS RAID – DEC. 20, 1861. Lt. Col. John Griffin was in charge
of the regiment and acting for the brigade with the absence of both Whitfield and
Ross. One thing had bolstered cavalry morale. Their horses were returned. The Sixth
was the first unit to remount and the 9th the last. With the new Army commander
Pemberton asking for ideas Griffith rose to the occasion. He developed a plan based on
weak security at the Union supply depots of Holly Springs and in Tennessee. His fellow
officers in the Texas Brigade supported the plan and even wrote endorsements.
Pemberton and his staff also liked it, and followed the plans suggestion, that General Van
Dorn lead the raid. On the morning of the 15th of December the units of the division began
to arrive at Grenada. Within a short period they were on the way to Holly Springs. Because
they were traveling light, they were hungry from the start. As they rode through one town
the people of the town fell out with food for the soldiers. They were not allowed to slow
down, but they did get a good meal. They made a faint to throw off Union security, but it
was not needed. The depot was not ready. Van Dorn called Griffith to the front and had
him lead the charge
on the center of town. The 6th led the attack with the 3rd in support. The raid was a total
success. Over 1500 men were captured and estimates ran as high as 15 million dollars
in goods. The cavalry soldiers who had ridden into town in ragged clothes were soon the
best dressed. Some even in general officer uniforms. All were smoking cigars and many
were drinking whiskey. This soon got out of hand. Only the 3rd retained some military
bearing. General Grant’s wife was staying in town and only Griffith's gallantry protected
her. The force had just missed capturing Grant, it was said. Soon they had all of the
material they could and they began destroying as much as they could. By 4 PM Van Dorn
was ready to leave. The force continued up the railroad line to do more damage. For
several more days they destroyed infrastructure and managed to evade forces trying to
find them. Shortly they returned to Grenada. They had conducted one of the most
successful raids in history. Along with a raid by GeneralForest at the same time in
Tennessee, they caused Grant to have to regroup and added a year to the war.