John D. Perkins

In this highly readable and well-researched book, John D. Perkins recounts the wartime experiences of the Ninth Texas Field Battery, more commonly known as Daniel's Battery, which was formed at Paris, Texas by Captain James M. Daniel. Letters from two of the officers in this artillery unit provide insights into the experiences of the men who served in the Trans-Mississippi West.

Daniel's Battery left Texas in the spring of 1862, marching to Camp Nelson, Arkansas, where it became part of the famous Walker's Texas Division. After service in Arkansas, the Ninth Texas Field Battery was part of the expedition which in June of 1863 failed to relieve Vicksburg. Later that year the battery saw action at the Battle of Bayou Bourbeau, and it shelled Union gunboats on the Mississippi.

Daniel's Battery made its greatest contribution to the Southern cause in April of 1864 when it was involved in the bloody two-day battles at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill near Shreveport. In this action the Confederates prevented the invasion of Texas and thwarted the Federal Red River campaign.

However, this study goes beyond military narrative to investigate the pre-war background of the soldiers in the battery. Using Compiled Service Records, the 1860 manuscript census, and tax rolls, Perkins examines the socioeconomic make-up of Daniel's Battery and compares it to other Civil War units.

In addition to providing information about the pre-war occupations of battery members, their wealth, and their slaveholdings, the author also addresses the much-debated issue that the Civil War was "a rich man's war but a poor man's fight."

Anyone interested in the Civil War and Texas history will treasure this informative study.


A native of northeast Texas, John D. Perkins currently serves as assistant professor of history at the Southeast campus of Tarrant County Junior College. He holds graduate degrees from the University of North Texas, Dallas Theological Seminary, and East Texas State University. He and wife Paula reside in Fort Worth.

100 Pages

ISBN: 0-912172-3

Published in 1998

For more information contact:

Hill College Press

P.O. Box 619

Hillsboro, Texas 76645

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