Heritage, 2009, Volume 2 Page: 24
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Two shots of a Model 1816 Springfield musket that has been converted
to percussion ignition and shortened to carbine length for use on horse
back. Courtesy of Tom Power.
effective Colt revolving pistol, either the .44 caliber dra-
goon or the lighter, .36 caliber navy. The lack of mention
of Colt pistols and Sharps carbines by Barron, Rose, and
Cartwright in their recollections leads to the conclusion
that these more contemporary weapons were not in the July
1861 Dallas shipment. Although Rose alluded to Colt re-
volving rifles and six-shooters, these were private arms sup-
plied to Company A before they left for Dallas.
Exact records of the contents of the shipment to Dallas
are unknown, and the historic record is often rife with con-
tradictions and disputes about the state and condition of
weaponry in the initial arming of the 3rd Texas Cavalry. On
July 30, General Ben McCulloch responded to the Confed-
erate Secretary of War in Richmond, regarding the status of
Greer's armament, saying that "I have just received authen-
tic information the Texas Regiment has reached Fort Smith
with no other arms than a few shotguns. The authorities
in Texas refused to furnish them arms on my requisition."
Yet, when Colonel Greer reported his regiment into Gen-
eral McCulloch's camp in Missouri on August 4, 1861, Sgt.
Barron of Company C recalled the following comments by
Greer, "Well, I am here to inform you that I am on the
ground, here in the enemy's country, with my regiment of
Texas cavalry, 1100 strong, well mounted and armed to the
teeth with United States holster pistols, a good many chop
knives and several double-barreled shotguns..."
In whatever state of armed readiness, Greer's command
set out for McCulloch's headquarters in southwestern Mis-
souri on July 31, 1861. Within 10 days, the command
was heavily engaged in the Battle of Wilson's Creek, near
Springfield, Missouri. As a result of this action and the con-
sequent Confederate victory, the 3rd Texas Cavalry became
entitled to an issuance of the weapons captured. From this
point through the balance of the Civil War, the 3rd Texas
Cavalry continued to improve its armament, either through
official sources or battlefield "pick ups." It was said many
times throughout the war that the best quartermaster that
the Confederate service had was the United States Army.
Consequently, the unit continued to add to its armament,
most often from captured Union supplies, the more cur-
rent-issue weapons. When the 3rd was dismounted, the
shotguns began to be replaced by pistols, rifles, rifled mus-
kets, muskets, and carbines. The day of the shotgun was
over, for good.
The arming of the 3rd Texas Cavalry in 1861 was a hap-
hazard thing, not unlike the experience of most Confederate
units. Without an organized and pre-existing government,
the normal channels of procurement were non-existent.
Ultimately, armed with "common" rifles, shotguns, U.S.
holster pistols, and assorted arms acquired from the San
Antonio arsenal, the men of the 3rd were able to mold a
cohesive fighting unit that met success in its first fight at
Wilson's Creek. From that day in August of 1861 forward,
using what they had brought, were issued, and were able to
capture, the 3rd Texas Cavalry became a fighting unit, well-
armed and certainly a force to be reckoned with by 1862.*
HERITAGEM Volume 2 2009
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2009, Volume 2, periodical, 2009; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254213/m1/24/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.