Second Texas Partisan Rangers

By: James T. Matthews

Type: General Entry

Published: April 11, 2011

The Second Texas Partisan Rangers began recruiting in counties surrounding Dallas in October 1862. Col. Barton Warren Stone, Jr., a Dallas attorney, raised the regiment for mounted service with authorization from Confederate Secretary of War George Randolph. The companies were composed of at least sixty privates each, enlisted for three years or the war. Companies formed in Collin, Dallas, Hopkins, Johnson, Kaufman and Wood counties. In March 1863 Stone marched his regiment to the Houston area to await assignment. In April they were assigned along with the Third Texas Cavalry, Arizona Brigade, to James Major's newly-formed Second Texas Cavalry Brigade and sent to Louisiana. One of their first assignments was to ride around the Union forces in the bayou country and cut off Federal retreat toward New Orleans. During this successful maneuver, they traveled 176 miles in four days with an average of three hours sleep per night. During the unsuccessful assault on Fort Butler, Stone's regiment attacked the town of Donaldsonville and created a diversion and drove the Federal troops stationed there back into the fort.

After Fort Butler, Stone returned to Dallas and did not rejoin his command for the remainder of the war. Instead, he recruited and trained new companies in Dallas. Isham Chisum, a prosperous farmer from Kaufman County, assumed command of the Second Texas Partisan Rangers. They continued to operate in the bayou country through 1863 and took part in battles at Stirling's Plantation, Carrion Crow Bayou, and Bayou Bourbeau. In December they returned to Texas and made camp at Galveston to assist in the defense against a Union expedition advancing up the coast from Brownsville. They remained in Galveston until March 1864, when the Second Texas Cavalry Brigade again marched into Louisiana to take part in the Red River campaign. During that campaign, they fought in battles at Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, Monett's Ferry, and Yellow Bayou. On May 1, companies of Chisum's regiment and the Arizona Scouts pursued, captured, and burned the Union transport Emma. In September 1864 the regiment marched to Arkansas with the cavalry brigade. Colonel Chisum was sent to occupy Mount Elba but for some reason never reached his destination. Arrested and suspended from command for six months, he returned home and submitted his resignation on April 15, 1865. Lt. Col. Crill Miller, a Dallas area rancher, assumed command of the Second Texas Partisan Rangers. They returned to Texas in December and camped in the Houston area. In February 1865, while escorting a group of Federal prisoners from Tyler to Shreveport, the regiment received orders to be dismounted. Miller's regiment was assigned to the Second Texas Infantry Brigade until the surrender of the Trans-Mississippi Department on May 26, 1865. They assembled and mustered out of service at Hempstead. Under the conditions of surrender, the men retained their side arms and personal baggage. Crill Miller returned to the Dallas area where he established a successful cattle ranching and horse breeding operation. Isham Chisum continued to farm. He died in Bandera County in 1876. Warren Stone moved his family to Missouri to escape the Reconstruction government but later returned to Dallas where he died of a heart attack in 1881.

Alwyn Barr, "Texas Losses in the Red River Campaign, 1864," Texas Military History 3(Summer 1963). Confederate Muster Rolls for Lane's, Stone's, Baylor's, and Phillips's Texas Cavalry, Military Records Section, National Archives and Records Service, Washington. Walter Paye Lane, Adventures and Recollections (Marshall, Texas, 1887; rpt., Austin: Pemberton Press, 1970). Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion (30 vols.,Washington: GPO, 1894–1922). Regimental Returns for Lane's, Stone's, Baylor's, and Phillips's Texas Cavalry, Military Records Section, National Archives and Records Service, Washington. Richard Taylor, Destruction and Reconstruction: Personal Experiences of the Late War (New York: Appleton, 1879; rpt., Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1983). The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: GPO, 1880–1901).

Time Periods:
  • Civil War
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • North Texas

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

James T. Matthews, “Second Texas Partisan Rangers,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 18, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 11, 2011

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