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    [Texas C.S.A. First Regiment, Texas Mounted Riflemen]. Diary of James T. Reeves. 82 pages (9 blank), 4" x 6.25", with entries covering the period from December 24, 1861 to February 28, 1862. Diary kept by James T. Reeves, Company E, of the First Regiment, Texas Mounted Riflemen. The diary includes daily entries as well as 15 pages of expenses and receipts. Reeves cover all aspects of camp life and service in the cavalry.

    Reeves' entry for December 31, 1861 celebrates the establishment of the Confederate States of America. "Great has been the change in National affairs of the United States since the first day of Dec. 1860. Eleven of the States have seceded from the United States and constituted what is called the Confederate States of America. Consequently hostilities...between the two governments. Many lives have been lost and...prospects of thousands more being lost before the war terminates. I am at present in the Confederate Service and with a determined resolution to remain so during the war." On January 16, Reeves notes that drinking in camp had resulted in a special order to be issued. "Positive orders by the Captain against the Sale of Liquor to any of the men at the post and positive orders against any of them buying it."

    Although the Union Army was the Confederacy's opponent in war, Native American tribes were still considered a real threat on the Texas frontier. Reeves' entries mentions Indians more than Union forces. For example, on January 22, 1862, he records that "great confusion this morning...bringing tidings that some six or seven Indians past [sic] near the old man Jackson's coming up the San Saba with...about fifty horses or more about ten or eleven oclock A.M. yesterday. Lieut. Stevens left with about twelve or fifteen follow said Indians."

    Reeves' does note Civil War news. His diary entry of February 10, 1862, records news of the Confederate defeat at a recent battle, probably the Battle of Mill Springs, in Kentucky. "Bad news brought by George Smith that the Confederate forces have been defeated in Kentucky many taken prisoners and two thousand horses and over two hundred wagons etc." While Reeves' company never encountered Union forces, it did hear rumors of Yankee activity near Texas. In one entry, dated February 20, 1862, Reeves records one rumor spreading through camp: "the mail came in this evening bringing tidings that the Lincolnites have landed at Corpus Christi. There seems to be an Empression [sic] that we will be ordered to the coast in short time if that be so."
    Little is known of James T. Reeves (1836-?) except his birth date and that at one time he resided in Caldwell, Texas.

    The First Regiment, Texas Mounted Riflemen, was the first regiment in Texas to be mustered into Confederate army service in 1861. In March 1861, the Confederate government directed Colonel Benjamin McCulloch (1811-1862) to raise a regiment of ten companies of mounted riflemen to protect the Texas frontier between the Red River and the Rio Grande. McCulloch turned the commission over to his brother, Colonel Henry Eustace McCulloch (1816-1895), who organized his regiment by early April, comprised of men from Bexar, Travis, Gonzales, Bell, Comanche, Bosque, Rusk, Burleson, and Lamar counties. By mid-April the new regiment entered Confederate service as the First Regiment, Texas Mounted Riflemen, also known as the First Texas Mounted Rifles. This was not only the first regiment in the state organized for Confederate service, but the original commission to Benjamin McCulloch was one of the first in the Confederacy.

    At San Antonio Henry McCulloch was elected colonel, Thomas C. Frost (1833-1903) lieutenant colonel, and Edward Burleson, Jr. (1826-1877), major. By the following month the ten companies of the regiment occupied a four hundred-mile line of forts along the Texas frontier. Since the enlistment period of the regiment ran out in spring of 1862, the regiment mustered out in mid-April 1862 at Fort Mason. Some of the men returned to frontier service, but most enlisted in the Eighth Texas Cavalry Battalion, which later became part of the First Texas Cavalry Regiment. From the Robert E. Davis Collection.

    Condition: All but one entry is written in ink and legible. The diary is bound in leather over stiff boards. The Reeves' name appears twice on the front cover, once stamped, and also handwritten. The binding is fragile, with several pages showing signs of loosening from the signature. Wear and light soiling to boards.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2017
    24th Friday
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