Fifth Texas Partisan Rangers

By: Charles D. Grear

Type: General Entry

Published: March 31, 2011

Updated: September 21, 2016

Origins of the Fifth Texas Partisan Rangers began when Leonidas M. Martin organized the Tenth Battalion Texas Cavalry on October 23, 1862. Albert Pike authorized the formation of the Tenth along with its sister battalion, John Randolph's First Battalion Texas Partisan Rangers, to act as "Police Guards" in Cooke County. Their assignment included hunting down draft dodgers, deserters, and keeping peace in the county. Some of the men from Randolph's Battalion participated in the round up of supposed Union sympathizers that resulted in the Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas.

Composed of four companies, the Tenth Battalion Texas Cavalry trained at Shirley Springs, a few miles north of McKinney, Texas. Later that fall, Gen. William Steele ordered the battalion to move to Old Fort Washita in the Indian Territory. By December, the unit moved again to Marysville, Arkansas, where it stayed until after Christmas. After Christmas, the men suffered in their winter camp at Bokchito, Indian Territory. By February 6, 1863, the battalion united with two independent companies and Randolph's First Battalion Texas Partisan Rangers to form the Fifth Texas Partisan Rangers. With ten companies, composed of men from Sherman, Farmersville, and McKinney, Martin commanded a full regiment. Also on that date, the newly-formed regiment formally attached itself to Cooper's Indian Brigade and spent the remainder of that spring in Northeast Indian Territory. While stationed there, the men fought a small Union force near Fort Gibson and lost the first battle of Cabin Creek.

During July 1863 the Fifth Texas Partisan Rangers fought in the battle at Honey Springs where the Federal soldiers defeated the Texans and forced them to fall back, losing huge portions of Northeast Indian Territory. By winter1864, the regiment received orders to go to Texas and gather deserters. The regiment continued this duty until the spring of 1864 when it joined Gano's Brigade. While serving with Gano's Brigade, the Fifth Texas participated alongside Confederate Indians in the Second Battle of Cabin Creek and captured or destroyed 1.5 million dollars worth of Federal supplies. By February 1865 the Fifth Texas Partisan Rangers received orders to move to Hempstead, Texas. After a brief stay at Hempstead, the regiment moved to Houston and Harrisburg on the Texas coast. The regiment finally disbanded on May 15, at a camp on Sims Bayou, near Richmond, Texas, on the Brazos River.

John W. Bowyer and Claude H. Thurman, eds., The Annals of Elder Horn: Early Life in the Southwest (New York: Richard R. Smith, Inc., 1930). Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Records Service, Washington. Richard B. McCaslin, Tainted Breeze: The Great Hanging at Gainesville, Texas, 1862 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1994). Ralph A. Wooster, Lone Star Regiments in Gray (Austin: Eakin Press, 2002).

Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

Charles D. Grear, “Fifth Texas Partisan Rangers,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

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March 31, 2011
September 21, 2016

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