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Confederate Flag at Bob Bullock Texas State Museum

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A parade of flags has been making its way through the Civil War case on the Museum’s second floor. The latest flag represents the Sixth Texas Cavalry Battalion and another side to Texas’s role in the Civil War. During the Civil War, Texas was faced with the task
of protecting a vast and open frontier that was subject to attack from any number of enemies. Under the Confederate constitution the protection of the frontier was the duty of the Confederate government, just as it had been the duty of the federal government under the Union. The large size of Texas made it difficult to defend against invading troops.

From the deserted swamp lands of Louisiana to the West Texas grounds paraded over by the Comanche, the borders of the Lone Star State were under constant threat. Because Texas was so vast and so far away from most of the Civil War conflicts, the majority of battalions were tasked with securing the wide open lands.

The Sixth Texas Cavalry was organized in May 1862 at Porter Springs, Houston
County, Texas by Robert S. Gould of Leon County with the main purpose of protecting the Texas frontier during war.

The men in Gould’s Battalion were from Houston, Leon, Madison, and Trinity counties. The independent battalion of 525 men fought battles in Texas and Louisiana with the highlight being their victory at the Battle of Mansfield on April 8, 1864 during the Red River Campaign. This victory stopped a Union effort to control the Red River — a maneuver that, if successful, would have allowed Union forces to enter Texas.

Now Starring on the Second Floor Confederate flag latest addition to Civil War case -
Sixth Texas Cavalry Battalion flag, ca. 1862 Courtesy Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin

This flag is hand-sewn cotton pieced together like a quilt. The canton contains a large red lone star within which are painted 11 smaller white stars(barely visible today) representative of the Confederate states. One of these is a central lone star (representing Texas) that is larger than the ten others. The white bar on the field is painted with an elaborate badge in the form of a shield. Within the shield is painted “TEXAS.”

Annette Bethke
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