rhe Character of Zerry's Ceras
C. C. JEFFRIES
T WOULD take the gift of a seer properly to interpret Terry's
Texas Rangers. They were a body of men the like of which
was found nowhere else in either army of the Civil War.
They entered the service under peculiar circumstances, and they
speedily developed characteristics which further set them apart.
Terry's Texas Rangers (Eighth Regiment, Texas Cavalry, Con-
federate States Army) were organized in Houston, Texas, on
September 9, 1861, as a result of an invitation issued by Benjamin
Franklin Terry and Thomas Saltus Lubbock.' The men under-
stood that they were enlisting for the duration of the war. The
unit fought in many battles until its surrender upon receiving
the farewell orders of General Joseph Wheeler dated April 28,
Perhaps their most prominent trait was pride. This in a crude
state they brought with them into the army, and subsequent
events stimulated its growth. They entered initially in the lime-
light, and the people among whom they were early thrown, those
of Louisiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky, made much of them.
The army officers likewise began to take notice of them and
praise them; all this, to say the least, gave them a rather good
opinion of themselves. Later happenings at Woodsonville and
Shiloh showed them that they had a good right to this feeling.
They were not vain or bigoted; they were on thoroughly sociable
terms with other regiments and other individuals in the army.
They indeed showed scorn at times for other units or single mem-
bers, but this tendency arose through the ineptness or cowardice
of others and not on account of personal or organizational ani-
In countless ways their pride manifested itself, as on the occa-
1J. K. P. Blackburn, "Reminisences of the Terry Rangers," Southwestern His-
torical Quarterly, XXII, 41.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed December 13, 2013.