In Spartan Band (coined from a chaplain’s eulogistic poem) author Thomas Reid traces the Civil War history of the 13th Texas Cavalry, a unit drawn from eleven counties in East Texas. The cavalry regiment organized in the spring of 1862 but was ordered to dismount once in Arkansas. The regiment gradually evolved into a tough, well-trained unit during action at Lake Providence, Fort De Russy, Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, and Jenkins' Ferry, as part of Maj. Gen. John G. Walker's Texas division in the Trans-Mississippi Department.
Reid researched letters, documents, and diaries gleaned from more than one hundred descendants of the soldiers, answering many questions relating to their experiences and final resting places. He also includes detailed information on battle casualty figures, equipment issued to each company, slave ownership, wealth of officers, deaths due to disease, and the effects of conscription on the regiment’s composition.
“The hard-marching, hard-fighting soldiers of the 13th Texas Cavalry helped make Walker’s Greyhound Division famous, and their story comes to life through Thomas Reid’s exhaustive research and entertaining writing style. This book should serve as a model for Civil War regimental histories.”—Terry L. Jones, author of Lee’s Tigers
“A splendidly crafted account . . . Regimental histories in the Trans-Mississippi theatre are rare, and thoroughly researched well-written efforts are rarer still. This volume is among the best.”—Civil War Book Review
“Reid has written the definitive history of the 13th Texas Cavalry . . . More than 100 individuals, Reid tells us in the preface, furnished him with diaries, letters, photos and accounts of family traditions. The upshot is a history of the 13th Texas Cavalry that might have been written by one of the veterans of the regiment.”—Civil War News
“The author effectively retells the battlefield exploits of the unit, as well as shows how social, political, and economic issues affected the regiment.”—Southwestern Historical Quarterly