About Horace Randal
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. He died on May 2, 1864. 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.
Horace Randal was born in McNairy County, Tennessee on January 4, 1833. His parents, Dr. Leonard Randal and Sarah Kyle Randal, moved the family to Texas in 1838. Dr. Leonard Randal was an army surgeon, who later was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas.
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. Originally assigned to the infantry, Randal transferred to the 1st U.S. Dragoons in 1855. He fought Indians in the southwest. 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.
Randal married first Julia Bassett, then Nannie E. Taylor.
Randal was in Washington, D.C. during the week before Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President of the United States. The U.S. Army's General-in-Chief. Brevet Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, offered Randal a Regular Army commission as major. Randal decided to go with his home state of Texas into the Confederate States of America (the Confederacy). He resigned from the U.S. Army on February 27, 1861.
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. 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. 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.
Randal intended to return to Texas to raise a regiment for the Confederate Army. 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. 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. 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.
Randal was authorized to raise a regiment of cavalry in Texas on December 19, 1861. Randal was known by his contemporaries, such as his West Point roommate John Bell Hood, as an excellent horseman. On February 12, 1862, he returned to Texas to take command of the new 28th Texas Cavalry Regiment, which most often fought dismounted. By December 1862, Randal commanded a brigade under Brigadier General Henry McCulloch.
Randal's brigade was held in reserve at the Battle of Milliken's Bend during the Siege of Vicksburg.
General E. Kirby Smith recommended that Randal be promoted to brigadier general on November 8, 1863. 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.
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. On April 13, 1864, General E. Kirby Smith appointed Randal to duty as a brigadier general. Randal and his brigade also performed with distinction at the Battle of Pleasant Hill on April 9, 1864.
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. He died on May 2, 1864 and initially was buried near the battlefield.
Aftermath and Legacy
At a later date, Horace Randal's remains were removed to Old Marshall Cemetery in Marshall, Texas. Despite the misspelling, Randall County, Texas is named for Horace Randal.