Historic Flags of the Texas State Library and Archives
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Wool, 42.5 x 52 inches
More Online Exhibits:
Under the Rebel Flag: Life in Texas During the Civil War
Third Texas Cavalry Regiment
The 3rd Texas Cavalry Regiment was organized in Dallas in June 1861. Many of the members were members of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a secret society that had promoted secession before the war. The regiment became part of the Texas Cavalry Brigade. In August, the 3rd Texas Cavalry became the first unit from Texas to fight in a major battle, the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in southwestern Missouri. Soon moving into Mississippi, the regiment sustained 50% casualties at the Battle of Iuka in September 1862, then went on to play a pivotal role in the defense of Vicksburg and Jackson.
This flag, produced by a private contractor in Mobile, Alabama, was presented to the regiment in November 1863 and was inscribed with the names of the many battles at which the 3rd Cavalry had distinguished itself. In December 1863, Lawrence Sullivan (Sul) Ross, a former Texas Ranger and future governor of Texas, took over command of the Texas Cavalry Brigade, which became known as “Ross’s Brigade.” Under Ross’s command, the Texas Cavalry Brigade distinguished itself in almost daily fighting in Georgia, sustaining heavy losses during the siege of Atlanta. This flag was lost at the Battle of Lovejoy’s Station, part of the Atlanta campaign, in August 1864. The regiment went on to fight at Franklin and Nashville in late 1864, then fought out the rest of the war in Mississippi. They never formally surrendered. The flag was returned to the state of Texas in 1905.