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Southern Army- Trans-Mississippi Army

        The forces in the Department of West Louisiana and Texas were constituted the Southwestern Army, January 14, 1863, and the command was given to Lieutenant-General E. Kirby Smith. On February 9th, the command was enlarged so as to embrace the whole Trans-Mississippi Department, which, on May 26, 1862, had been separated from the Western Department (Department No. 2). Major-General T. H. Holmes had previously commanded in the Trans-Mississippi. Smith had about thirty thousand men, widely scattered from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to the Rio Grande. Major-General Holmes was defeated at Helena, July 4, 1863. The various portions of the army were constantly occupied in small engagements. These forces opposed the Federal Red River expedition in 1864. At the latest returns, in 1865, the aggregate present of the force was about forty-three thousand. They were the last Confederate troops to surrender, May 26, 1865.
        Lieutenant-General Theophilus Hunter (U. S. M.A. 1829) was born in Sampson County, North Carolina, in 1804, and fought in the Florida and Mexican wars. He resigned his commission of major in April, 1861, and entered the Confederate service, rising to the rank of lieutenant-general on October 10, 1862. On account of his age he saw little active service, but was placed at the head of various districts and departments throughout the Confederacy. On July 4, 1863, while in command of the District of Arkansas, Trans-Mississippi Department, he led an unsuccessful attack on Helena. He died in Fayetteville, North Carolina, June 20, 1880.
        Lieutenant-General Richard Taylor, son of Zachary Taylor, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, January 27, 1826. He was a Yale graduate and went to the Mexican War with General Taylor. He joined the Confederate army in 1861, serving first as colonel of the Ninth Louisiana Volunteers in the Army of the Potomac. He was promoted to brigadier-general in October, and served under " Stonewall " Jackson in the Shenandoah valley and in the Peninsula campaign. He was made major-general in July, 1862, and the following month was assigned to the command of the District of West Louisiana (Trans-Mississippi Department), where he remained until June, 1864. It was hoped that he would recover New Orleans. He occupied the Teche country during the winter of 1862-63. In the following spring and summer he fought against Weitzel and captured Brashear City. He reached the west bank of the Mississippi near New Orleans in July, but was driven back by Weitzel and Franklin. The following year he was instrumental in defeating the Red River expedition. In September, 1864, he was sent to command the Department of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana, and surrendered to Major-General Canby, May 4, 1865. He died in New York City, April 12, 1879.
Source: "The Photographic History of the Civil War"

This Page last updated 03/28/04


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