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The Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department was formed May 26, 1862, to include Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River. The combined department had its headquarters at Shreveport, Louisiana, and Marshall, Texas.

Trans-Mississippi Department in Southern VictoryEdit

The Trans-Mississippi Department was formed May 26, 1862, to include Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Indian Territory, and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River. Their actions during the War of Secession were botched campaigns, or small scale actions that were overshadowed by those of the Army of Northern Virginia. In the aftermath of the war, the Trans-Mississippi saw no action aside from border patrol with both the USA and Empire of Mexico.

Prior to the Second Mexican War, the Trans-Mississippi Department's biggest operation took place in 1874, when the Comanche launched a series of coordinated raids against Texas from the New Mexico Territory. Thanks in part to the efforts of the Confederate Camel Corps, who were equipped with camels, they were able to go places that horses couldn't and surprise the Comanche raiders quickly putting down the Indians.[1] In 1879, Confederate General Jeb Stuart took command of the army, moving its headquarters from its traditional home of Houston or Austin to El Paso.

In May of 1881, the army was ordered to move troops into position to take possession of Chihuahua and Sonora. General Stuart organized five regiments of cavalry, half a dozen batteries or artillery, and three regiments of infantry. On the 14th of June, the army moved into El Paso del Norte to formally take possession of the two new provinces, igniting the Second Mexican War.

The Trans-Mississippi Department lead only offensive operation against US territory. Although Stuart was aware of President Longstreet's defensive strategy, he believed that the best way to defend the new territories was to make the Yankees defend their own. Although communications from Richmond were sketchy at best, Stuart heard no word of reproof from the War Department in regards to his plans, so he marched into New Mexico Territory as soon as the declaration of war reached him.

The campaign got off to a promising start when he managed to hoax the US commander at Contention City, which impressed the Apaches under Geronimo leading to an alliance between the two forces. After this, they successfully lured US forces into an ambush at the Battle of Madera Canyon before fighting the Battle of Tombstone. Now having cleared the territory of all US Forces, they returned to CS territory where they dispatched US Raiders with the Fifth Cavalry, whose camels once again allowed the Confederates to operate with much greater range. With no more opposition left, the New Mexico front remained quiet, until tensions between the Apaches and the CSA's new Hispanic subjects led to a vicious war between the Apaches and the CSA. Stuart himself was a casualty of this conflict.

ReferencesEdit

  1. How Few Remain, pg. 47, mmp.

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