The Seventh Texas Cavalry Regiment was organized in Victoria, Texas, in the summer of 1861. The unit registered nearly 1,000 effectives and was structured into ten companies. The men of the Seventh Cavalry were recruited primarily from the Texas counties of Washington, Bexar, Guadalupe, Williamson, Angelina, Polk, Trinity, Cherokee, Rusk, Walker, Houston, Anderson, and Tarrant. The original commander of the regiment was William Steele. The unit's other field officers included Arthur P. Bagby (major, lieutenant colonel, colonel), Philemon T. Herbert (lieutenant colonel, colonel), Gustav Hoffman (major, lieutenant colonel), Powhatan Jordan (major, lieutenant colonel), and John S. Sutton (lieutenant colonel).
Shortly after being organized, the Seventh Cavalry was mustered into service in the Confederate Army and on November 8, 1861, was assigned to Henry H. Sibley's Brigade, Department of Texas. On January 21, 1862, the unit was attached to the Army of New Mexico. From February 19 to August 7, 1862, the regiment participated in Sibley's campaign, including the major engagements at Valverde and Glorieta Pass.
On September 12, 1862, Col. William Steele was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and command of the Seventh Cavalry passed to Col. Arthur P. Bagby. On January 1, 1863, the unit was on detached service to take part in Confederate Gen. John B. Magruder's attack to re-take the city of Galveston that had been held by Union forces since October 1862 (see BATTLE OF GALVESTON). Beginning in March 1863 the Seventh Cavalry was moved east where it participated in operations in Louisiana. The regiment remained in Louisiana for the remainder of the war.
From April to June 1863, the Seventh Cavalry saw action in Western Louisiana at Bayou Vermillion, Donaldsonville, and Cox's Plantation. At Donaldsonville, all the men of companies "D" and "K" were captured on June 23, 1863. Most the men captured were held for the remainder of the war. The engagement at Cox's Plantation was particularly costly for the regiment when six men were killed, thirty-five were wounded, and thirty-four went missing during the fighting. From October to November 1863 the unit took part in operations in Western Louisiana and the Teche Country, including skirmishes at Bayou Bourbeau and Buzzard's Prairie and actions at Grand Coteau and Carrion Crow Bayou.
Beginning in March 1864 Union Gen. Nathanial P. Banks launched his Red River campaign in an attempt to sever Texas from the Confederacy and disrupt the Trans-Mississippi cotton trade. The Seventh Cavalry took part in operations against Banks's offensive including participation in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, and numerous minor skirmishes.
The Seventh Cavalry was among the forces that surrendered under the command of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith on May 26, 1865. It appears that news of Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia prompted the unit to disband on May 27, 1865, at Wild Cat Bluff, Texas.