The 7th Texas Cavalry has a very proud heritage. They were with Sibley's Brigade in the Confederate Army's push to wrest control of the Western United States from the Union Army in the autumn of 1861. In time the 7th Texas would turn to the eastern arena and participate in many battles. In the East, in the heat and smoke of fierce combat, it would emerge as one of the best mounted regiments in the CSA. Its Regimental Colonel, Arthur P. Bagby, was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. During the Civil War, many mounted regiments which began as cavalry were often, by command, unhorsed and made into infantry. Not so the 7th. This regiment entered the war horsed and ended the war horsed because of its exemplary performance in the field.
Our Mission and Purpose
The 7th Texas Cavalry strives to reenact the citizen soldier from Texas. It was formed to provide enjoyable opportunities for individuals and families to experience, learn, and in return, teach others about all aspects of life in the mid-19th century. The American Civil War is one of the most fascinating and defining moments in our history. Everything from the military conflicts and tactics to civilian life with its social expectations and customs, are experiences that 21st Century living historians in the 7th Texas Cavalry attempt to re-create.
- Military Life -
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The 7th Texas Cavalry also attempts to authentically portray and represent authentic camp life of the soldier during the Civil War. This organization also attempts to demonstrate to the public the many day to day duties and responsibilities of the common soldier in the 7th Texas Cavalry (i.e. Picket Duty, Officer's Call). The troopers in the 7th Texas Cavalry work to become proficient in the drill manuals of the time period - Cooke's Cavalry Manual for mounted and dismounted and Hardee's Manual for the manual of arms. Every attempt will be made by all military personnel to try and recreate the military atmosphere in camp, with an emphasis on 1860's military customs, traditions, and protocol. Members are also highly encouraged to do first person impressions at events, especially when in close proximity of the viewing public.
The trooper in the 7th Texas Cavalry will try to accurately portray both the mounted and dismounted cavalryman while on the reenactment field, demonstrating both mounted and dismounted tactics used by the 7th Texas Cavalry during the American Civil War. The dismounted impression in the 7th Texas Cavalry is that of a mounted trooper who is fighting on foot with his horse to the rear, thus the uniform and weaponry requirements are the same for both the mounted and dismounted trooper. While in camp the mounted trooper will also demonstrate to the public the many responsibilities of a cavalryman in regards to his mount (i.e. grooming, training).
On occasion troopers in the 7th Texas Cavalry also do a secondary impression of the 1st Texas US Cavalry (Union) and are required to eventually acquire all the uniform requirements for a federal cavalryman.
- Civilian Life -
The 7th Texas is a family unit. This emphasis does not disqualify those who are not married or have children, but it does set the tone that is expected of all members at all unit activities. The civilian members represent the various civilian occupations and lifestyles found during the 1860s. It is important that civilian family and social activities provide an enjoyable reenacting experience to the civilian members of the unit. Further, the civilian camp provides a "second home" for all members of the unit during the course of an event.
- Social Expectations and Customs -
The 7th Texas seeks to emulate the social customs of the 19th Century in camp and in the field. We desire to reenact the best of the culture of the 1860s not the lowest elements. Men are expected to be gentlemen. Women are expected to be ladies. Children are to be obedient and to respect their elders and shall be protected by adult members of the unit. Prejudice has no place in the 7th Texas, neither that of race, sex, creed, or heritage. Equal respect is to be extended to persons from all parts of the United States and to reenactors regardless of the color of their uniforms.
We have adopted these 19th Century social practices because they make the event more authentic. Reenactments are not authentic unless all participants adopt the social habits of the time period, as well as the clothing. To wear the clothing without the social customs is to play ?dress up.? The social customs create harmony in the camp. The rules of etiquette our ancestors practiced were created so that each person would be respected and comfortable in the presence of others. The social customs that protected families and individuals in the 19th Century will also protect reenactor families and individuals in the 21st Century. These common social customs will also promote cooperation for the common good. Overall it is more fun to look, act, and even think the part. The more immersed a person is, the more fun they can have.
In short, the 7th Texas military camp is a place in which ladies and children will feel comfortable and safe and to which mothers can send their young sons with complete confidence in the example of manhood there.
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