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Horace Randal
Born (1833-01-04)January 4, 1833
Died May 2, 1864(1864-05-02) (aged 31)
Place of birth McNairy County, Tennessee
Place of death Grant County, Arkansas
Buried at Marshall, Texas
Allegiance United States United States of America
Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
Service/branch U.S. Army
Confederate States Army
Years of service 1854–1861
1861–1864
Rank Union army 2nd lt rank insignia.jpg Second Lieutenant, USA
Confederate States of America Colonel.png Colonel, CSA
35px Assigned to duty as:
Brigadier General
Commands held Brigade, Walker's Division
Battles/wars American Civil War

Horace Randal (January 4, 1833 – May 2, 1864) was a Confederate States Army colonel during the American Civil War (Civil War). Randal was mortally wounded while commanding a brigade at the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, Arkansas on April 30, 1864, dying two days later. Confederate President Jefferson Davis did not act upon a request made by General E. Kirby Smith on November 8, 1863, to promote Randal to brigadier general. After Randal's performance at the Battle of Mansfield, General Smith, as the Confederate commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, assigned Randal to duty as a brigadier general on April 13, 1864. Randal was not officially promoted. Jefferson Davis subsequently revoked Smith's appointment of Randal as a brigadier general.

Randal graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1854 and was serving as a Second Lieutenant and Brevet First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army when the Deep South States seceded from the Union. Randal resigned from the U.S. Army on February 27, 1861, and was promptly appointed colonel of the 28th Texas Cavalry Regiment.

Early life[]

Horace Randal was born in McNairy County, Tennessee on January 4, 1833.[1][2][3] His parents, Dr. Leonard Randal and Sarah Kyle Randal, moved the family to Texas in 1838.[1] Dr. Leonard Randal was an army surgeon, who later was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas.[1]

After five years in attendance, Horace Randal graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1854, ranking forty-fifth out of forty-six in the class.[1][2][4][5][6] Originally assigned to the infantry, Randal transferred to the 1st U.S. Dragoons in 1855.[1][2][4] He fought Indians in the southwest.[1][4][5] In 1857, United States Secretary of War Jefferson Davis recommended that Randal receive the rank of brevet first lieutenant for gallant and meritorious conduct in the conflict with the Apaches.[1]

Randal married first Julia Bassett, then Nannie E. Taylor.[7]

Randal was in Washington, D.C. during the week before Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States.[1] The U.S. Army's General-in-Chief. Brevet Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, offered Randal a Regular Army commission as major.[1] Randal decided to go with his home state of Texas into the Confederate States of America (the Confederacy).[1] He resigned from the U.S. Army on February 27, 1861.[2][4][5][6]

American Civil War service[]

Randal was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Army of the Confederate States, the regular army of the Confederacy, on March 26, 1861, to rank from March 16, 1861.[1][2] By April 25, 1861, when Randal was ordered to report to General Braxton Bragg at Pensacola, Florida to serve as quartermaster on Bragg's staff.[1] Randal, however, complained to President Davis that others who were junior to him in the U.S. Army had been given higher grades or ranks and resigned.[1][2][8]

Randal intended to return to Texas to raise a regiment for the Confederate Army.[9] At the request of his brother-in-law, Major General Gustavus Woodson Smith, he remained in northern Virginia as a volunteer aide on Smith's staff.[9] Although Jefferson Davis was reluctant to reappoint an officer who had recently resigned, he was persuaded by Smith to appoint Randal as a lieutenant and aide to Smith.[2][9] He became a favorite officer of General Joseph E. Johnston while acting as inspector general of G. W. Smith's corps during the winter of 1861–1862.[9] Randal was authorized to raise a regiment of cavalry in Texas on December 19, 1861.[9] Randal was known by his contemporaries, such as his West Point roommate John Bell Hood, as an excellent horseman.[9] On February 12, 1862, he returned to Texas to take command of the new 28th Texas Cavalry Regiment, which most often fought dismounted.[2][6][9] By December 1862, Randal commanded a brigade under Brigadier General Henry McCulloch.[4][9][10]

Randal's brigade was held in reserve at the Battle of Milliken's Bend during the Siege of Vicksburg.[11]

General E. Kirby Smith recommended that Randal be promoted to brigadier general on November 8, 1863.[4][9] No action was taken on the request. Historian Bruce S. Allardice says this was because the brigade was well below brigade strength at the time.[9]

At the Battle of Mansfield, April 8, 1864, during the Red River Campaign, Randal's brigade broke the Union line and took about 500 prisoners and the Union Army wagon train while leading the pursuit of the fleeing Federal force.[9] On April 13, 1864, General E. Kirby Smith appointed Randal to duty as a brigadier general.[9][12][13] Randal and his brigade also performed with distinction at the Battle of Pleasant Hill on April 9, 1864.[5]

Randal was mortally wounded while leading a charge at the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, the culmination of the Union Camden Expedition under Major General Frederick Steele, which was part of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks's larger Red River Campaign, on April 30, 1864.[6][9] He died on May 2, 1864, and initially was buried near the battlefield.[7][9][14][15]

Aftermath and Legacy[]

At a later date, Horace Randal's remains were removed to Old Marshall Cemetery in Marshall, Texas.[9][16] Despite the misspelling, Randall County, Texas is named for Horace Randal.[9][17]

See also[]

Notes[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Allardice, Bruce S. More Generals in Gray. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-8071-3148-2 (pbk.). p. 192.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 608.
  3. Eicher, 2001, p. 608 states that Randal's birth date was either January 1, 1833 or January 4, 1833, recognizing a conflict in earlier sources. Allardice, 1995, p. 193 cites a January 20, 1849 letter from Randal's father to the Secretary of War showing the January 4, 1833 birth date.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Evans, Clement A., ed. Confederate Military History: A Library of Confederate States History. Volume 11 of 12. Roberts, O. M. Texas. Atlanta: Confederate Publishing Company, 1899. OCLC 833588. Retrieved January 20, 2011. p. 251.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: McKay, 1988. ISBN 0-8129-1726-X. First published New York, McKay, 1959. p. 678.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Civil War. New York: Facts On File, 1988. ISBN 0-8160-1055-2. p. 530.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Allardice, Bruce S. Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8262-1809-4. p. 317.
  8. Boatner, 1988, p. 678 says that Randal pointed out that he commanded the cavalry at Lincoln's inaugural campaign. As Allardice, 1995, p. 194 points out, Randal had resigned a week before Lincoln's inaugural. It is not clear that Boatner accepted Randal's supposed claim, only that he states that Randal made the claim.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 Allardice, 1995, p. 193.
  10. Sifakis, 1988, p. 530 shows Randal's early brigade commands as District of West Louisiana in spring and fall of 1863 followed by a brigade command in Walker's Division.
  11. Allardice, 1995, p. 193, states this was a June 25, 1863 attack on Milliken's Bend, which is described by E. B. Long as a skirmish. Long, E. B. The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861–1865. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971. OCLC 68283123. p. 371. The main Battle of Milliken's Bend was on June 7, 1863. Long, 1971, p. 363. Some of the other sources cited in this article, such as Sifakis, simply refer to the Battle of Milliken's Bend without giving a date. The official report of Brigadier General James Morrison Hawes describes Randal as commanding the reserve at the June 7, 1863 Battle of Milliken's Bend. United States War Department. The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880–1901. Series I, Volume XXIV, Part II, 1889. p. 471. It thus appears either that Randal commanded a reserve at the June 25 skirmish in addition to the June 7 battle or that Allardice has the wrong date for the Milliken Bend engagement at which Randal commanded the reserve.
  12. Smith had no authority to make such appointments but after the fall of Vicksburg, he made several such appointments because he claimed communication between the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department and the Confederate government in Richmond, Virginia was slow and difficult. Some of his earlier appointments were approved by Jefferson Davis and he sent nominations for promotion of the officers to the Confederate Senate; others were rejected by Davis. No official action was taken with respect to some of the later appointments. Sifakis, 1988, p. 530 describes Smith's appointments as "extralegal" and "unorthodox."
  13. Evans, 1899, volume 11, p. 251 says Randal was commissioned a brigadier general on April 8, 1864 but did not receive the commission. Modern historians recognize the commission as coming only from E. Kirby Smith. Even if the commission had come from Richmond, it was not received by Randal so he would not have officially become a brigadier general. Eicher, 2001, p. 608 says the appointment was revoked by Jefferson Davis.
  14. Blessington, Joseph P. Campaigns of Walker's Texas Division. New York: Blessington, 1875. OCLC 4415605. p. 256.
  15. Eicher, 2001, p. 608 states that Randal's death date was either April 30, 1864 or May 2, 1864, recognizing a conflict in earlier sources. As noted, Allardice accepts the clear statement of Blessington, a soldier in Walker's division, that Randal died on May 2, 1864.
  16. [1] Harvey, Bill. Texas cemeteries : the resting places of famous, infamous, and just plain interesting Texans. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-292-73465-4. pp. 256–257: identifies the cemetery simply as Marshall Cemetery. Eicher, 2001, p. 608 gives the name as Old Marshall Cemetery.
  17. Blessington similarly misspells Randal's name as Randall.

References[]

  • Allardice, Bruce S. Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8262-1809-4.
  • Allardice, Bruce S. More Generals in Gray. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-8071-1967-9.
  • Blessington, Joseph P. Campaigns of Walker's Texas Division. New York: Blessington, 1875. OCLC 4415605.
  • Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: McKay, 1988. ISBN 0-8129-1726-X. First published New York, McKay, 1959.
  • Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Evans, Clement A., ed. Confederate Military History: A Library of Confederate States History. Volume 11 of 12. Roberts, O. M. Texas. Atlanta: Confederate Publishing Company, 1899. OCLC 833588. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  • [2] Harvey, Bill. Texas cemeteries : the resting places of famous, infamous, and just plain interesting Texans. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-292-73465-4.
  • Long, E. B. The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861–1865. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971. OCLC 68283123.
  • Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Civil War. New York: Facts On File, 1988. ISBN 0-8160-1055-2.
  • United States War Department. The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1880–1901. Series I, Volume XXIV, Part II, 1889.

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