Lincoln County, Tennessee
|Allegiance||Confederate States of America|
|Service/branch||Confederate States Army|
|Years of service||1861-1865|
|Unit||Company A, Arizona Rangers|
|Battles/wars||Red River Campaign|
Sherod Hunter (March 5, 1834-Date Unknown) was the commander of the Confederate unit operating against Union Army forces in present day Arizona during the American Civil War. Later commanded various Confederate Cavalry units in the Civil War in the Trans Mississippi Theater.
Sherod Hunter was born on March 5, 1834 in Lincoln County, Tennessee, but was orphaned in 1840 and raised by various relatives. Hunter was married in November 1855 to the daughter of his business partner, Thomas Goodrich, with whom he operated a grocery business. On March 3, 1857 Sherod Hunter had a son. However, his wife, weakened by the hard childbirth, died ten days later, on Friday, 13 March 1857, and his son died soon afterward on 6 July 1857. Following this double tragedy, Hunter sold his interest in his business to his father-in-law and left Tennessee . About 1858 or 1859 he settled and began to farm land beside the Mimbres River, near Mowry City in Doña Ana County (now Luna County), New Mexico Territory.
Hunter began his service with the Confederacy in May 1861, after local Apaches drove him from his farm in southwestern New Mexico. He joined Captain George Frazer's Company of Arizona Rangers and was promoted Lieutenant of the unit, on August 1, 1861. It was part of a battalion of Texas troops under John R. Baylor, which had recently occupied the town of Mesilla, New Mexico. In January 1862 Hunter, having risen to the rank of Captain, was sent west at the head of Company A, Arizona Rangers, a 54-man detachment by Confederate general Henry Hopkins Sibley (who was preparing an invasion of New Mexico from Texas at the time). Hunter's destination was Tucson, Arizona; his mission, to protect its pro-Confederate citizens from Apache raids and to watch for any Union forces advancing from California. His group, along with Colonel James Riley and a small escort, who were traveling to Mexico on Sibley's behalf, arrived in Tucson on February 28, 1862 and established Confederate occupation of the town. Hunter's men fought engagements against the California Column at Stanwix Station and Picacho Pass before retreating east to Texas in May 1862. During the journey, four of Hunter's men were killed by Apaches in the Second Battle of Dragoon Springs. Their retreat was followed by the Union reoccupation of Tucson the following month.
Hunter rejoined Sibley's army after its failed New Mexico invasion, seeing further service in Texas and Louisiana. On June 23, 1863 Hunter, now a Major in the Confederate Army, took part in a successful attack on Union troops at Brashear City, Louisiana; the Union force surrendered to Hunter after a brief resistance.
References and Sources
- L. Boyd Finch, CONFEDERATE PATHWAY TO THE PACIFIC: MAJOR SHEROD HUNTER AND ARIZONA TERRITORY, C.S.A., Tucson, Arizona: Arizona Historical Society, 1996, pp 6-8.
- Finch, PATHWAY, pp 14-15.
- Finch, PATHWAY, p.19.
- Finch, PATHWAY, pp. 19-20.
- L. Boyd Finch, "Sherod Hunter and the Confederates in Arizona," JOURNAL OF ARIZONA HISTORY, Spring 1969, pp 141-142.
- Josephy, p. 58.
- Martin Hardwick Hall, THE CONFEDERATE ARMY OF NEW MEXICO. Austin, Texas: Presidio Press, 1978, p. 361.
- Josephy, p. 273.
- Josephy, pp. 175-6.
- Josephy, Jr., Alvin M. (1991). The Civil War in the American West. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-56482-0.
- Frazier, Donald S. Blood & Treasure: Confederate Empire in the Southwest. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-89096-639-7