Elite cavalry regiment enters Texas

December 15th, 1855

On this day in 1855, troopers of the Second United States Cavalry Regiment entered Texas for the first time. The Second, one of four new regiments approved by Congress in the spring of 1855, was organized specifically for service on the Texas frontier. The regiment left Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, in late October and rode through Missouri, part of Arkansas, and a corner of Indian Territory before crossing the Red River into Texas. Its officers were hand-picked by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis; thus the elite regiment was known as "Jeff Davis's Own." The Second Cavalry remained in Texas until the Civil War. During its stay, companies of the regiment were involved in some forty engagements along the western and northern frontiers of Texas and along the Rio Grande, fighting Apaches, Comanches, Kiowas, and Mexican marauders. The regiment was known for the outstanding quality of the sixteen general officers it produced in the 6½ years of its existence. The Second supplied one-half of the full generals of the Confederate Army: Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Edmund Kirby Smith, and John Bell Hood. The Second Cavalry was Lee's last command in the United States Army.

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Elite cavalry regiment enters Texas

December 15th, 1855

On this day in 1855, troopers of the Second United States Cavalry Regiment entered Texas for the first time. The Second, one of four new regiments approved by Congress in the spring of 1855, was organized specifically for service on the Texas frontier. The regiment left Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, in late October and rode through Missouri, part of Arkansas, and a corner of Indian Territory before crossing the Red River into Texas. Its officers were hand-picked by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis; thus the elite regiment was known as "Jeff Davis's Own." The Second Cavalry remained in Texas until the Civil War. During its stay, companies of the regiment were involved in some forty engagements along the western and northern frontiers of Texas and along the Rio Grande, fighting Apaches, Comanches, Kiowas, and Mexican marauders. The regiment was known for the outstanding quality of the sixteen general officers it produced in the 6½ years of its existence. The Second supplied one-half of the full generals of the Confederate Army: Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Edmund Kirby Smith, and John Bell Hood. The Second Cavalry was Lee's last command in the United States Army.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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