Haralson, James Brent
Master of Arts, History, Texas Tech University, December (2005)
In the world of American history perhaps no other field has been studied more thoroughly that the American Civil War. While most of the major campaigns and important figures have been covered in detail, a few topics remain relatively unexplored. One such figure is Major General John G. Walker. Walker’s famous division of Texans has been researched in fine detail, but no work of any length exists about the man who led these troops in battle. This thesis is an attempt to shed light on Walker and his military career. This document will explore Walker’s early military career and experiences in the War with Mexico and his service with the U.S. Mounted Rifles on the American frontier. When the Civil War began in 1861, Walker joined the Confederate army and served with the Army of Northern Virginia. The thesis examines the important role Walker played during the Maryland Campaign of 1862. Later chapters follow Walker to the Trans-Mississippi West and explore his time at the head of the Texas division and various districts commands in the department. The ultimate purpose of the work is to examine and provide readers a look into Walker’s experiences, decisions, campaigns and battles, and the relationships he had with his superiors and the troops that served under his command. Such an examination will provide a better understanding of Walker as a person and as a soldier in the crucial events of America’s past.