While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Matthew K. Hamilton

TWENTIETH TEXAS CAVALRY. The Twentieth Texas Cavalry was recruited and organized in Hill County, Texas, during the spring and summer of 1862. The unit was organized into ten companies of 850 officers and men that were primarily recruited from the counties of Anderson, Navarro, Kaufman, Henderson, Johnson, and Limestone. The original commanding officer of the regiment was Col. Thomas Coke Bass of Sherman, a Mississippi native and outspoken secessionist. The other field officers of the regiment were lieutenant colonels Andrew J. Fowler and Thomas D. Taliaferro and majors Dempsey W. Broughton and John R. Johnson.

The Twentieth Texas Cavalry was assigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department and served almost entirely in the Indian Territory where it was confronted by Union forces. At times, it was the only non-Indian Confederate unit operating in the Indian Territory. The Twentieth Cavalry took part in more than thirty various engagements throughout the war in both the Indian Territory and Arkansas, the latter where it served on occasion.

During its career, the Twentieth Cavalry served under numerous higher commands. From September to December 1862 the unit was part of Cooper's Brigade, Roane's Division, Army of the West. During this time, the unit participated in its first actions in Arkansas at the battle of Prairie Grove on December 7, 1862. Beginning in January 1863 the unit was moved to the Indian Territory as part of Cabell's Brigade, Steele's Division, District of Arkansas. From April 30 to December 31, 1863, the unit served as part of Cooper's Brigade, Steele's Division, District of the Indian Territory. Throughout 1863 the Twentieth participated in numerous actions in the Indian Territory, including actions at Fort Gibson, Tahlequah, Greenleaf Prairie, Cabin Creek, Honey Springs, and Perryville. The action at Honey Springs on July 17, 1863, was a particularly interesting engagement, because white soldiers were a minority on both sides. The Confederate forces were, besides the Twentieth, primarily made up of Native Americans, while the Union forces comprised primarily African-American soldiers.

Beginning in September 1863 the Twentieth was moved from the Indian Territory to Arkansas to take part in operations against Union Maj. Gen. Fredrick Steele's Little Rock campaign. On September 10 some of the unit was captured at an engagement at Bayou Fourche outside of Little Rock. The rest of the unit retreated south towards Arkadelphia. By December 1863 the unit was back in the Indian Territory where it remained until March 1864.

In March 1864 the Twentieth returned to Arkansas to assist in operations against Union Major General Steele's Camden campaign. Steele's objective was to move south from Little Rock towards Camden in an effort to link up with Gen. Nathanial P. Banks's forces that were moving north from New Orleans. From March 23 to May 3, 1864, the Twentieth took part in every engagement of the Camden campaign including actions at Prairie D'Ane, Jenkins' Ferry, Poison Springs, and Marks' Mills.

After aiding in the successful defense against Steele's Camden campaign, the unit returned to service in the Indian Territory for the remainder of the war. From September 30 to its surrender on June 23, 1865, the Twentieth operated unattached to a brigade but part of Cooper's Indian Division, Army of the Trans-Mississippi. During this time the unit saw action at Prior Creek, Fort Gibson, Cabin Creek, and Boggy Station. On June 23, 1865, the Twentieth Texas Cavalry Regiment was included in the surrender of Confederate Indian troops at Doaksville in the Indian Territory.


Joseph H. Crute, Jr., Units of the Confederate States Army (Midlothian, Virginia: Derwent, 1987). Richard G. Lowe, Walker's Texas Division, C.S.A.: Greyhounds of the Trans-Mississippi (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004). Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Texas (New York: Facts on File, 1995). John F. Walter, "Histories of Texas Units in the Civil War," Ms., Historical Research Center, Texas Heritage Museum, Hill College, Hillsboro, Texas, 1981.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Matthew K. Hamilton, "TWENTIETH TEXAS CAVALRY," accessed July 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qkt28.

Uploaded on April 8, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...