Texas Military Forces Museum, Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas

Uniforms of the Republic of Texas

  CAVALRY
Sergeant - Full Dress
The Travis Guards

This is a sergeant of cavalry in full dress uniform, At least one company was outfitted in the dress uniform, the Travis Guards. This we know from a requisition in the Texas State Archives from the captain of the Travis Guards, Alex Woodhouse, for cavalry uniforms for thirty-three men plus two musicians coats. At the bottom of the requisition is a notation by Captain Woodhouse that the uniforms had been received.

A peculiarity of this single-breasted coat is that the center has nine buttons, whereas there are eleven on each side. Another unusual feature is that the skirt of the coat in only four inches long. Non-commissioned staff wore yellow bullion on the scale on the left shoulder and an ordinary scale on the right. Other enlisted men wore regular scales on each shoulder. Headwear was the plumed leather jockey cap.

Cavalry trim and buttons were gold. Sergeants wore their chevrons on both sleeves above the elbow, point downward. Corporals had two bars below the elbow, point downward; lance-corporals one bar.

According to some scholars, at least one unit had a red uniform. This uniform was requested by Captain A.S. Plummer in a letter to President Lamar dated April 5, 1839. "Give me a fancy uniform of red," Plummer enthused, "and I can enlist first-rate men — nothing like a dashing uniform ..." According to Mike Koury of the Old Army Press, Plummer got the red uniforms, which were to be for dress. But the only red clothing that shows up in the inventories is red jackets for musicians.

The trouser stripe and sword knot are buff, which was the cavalry color (not yellow). The trouper’s neckwear is a black leather stock.

The Travis Guards were actually volunteer militia, not regular cavalry. They were at Austin. When the capital was moved to Austin they served as an honor guard for the president, as the Milam Guards had done in Houston. On these occasions they wore the dress uniform shown. When in the field they no doubt wore the fatigue uniform.

The horses in the background are wearing the Texas Army cavalry saddle, bridle, martingale and pistol holsters, of which there was one on each side of the pommel. Texas Army horses were branded "TA" on the right shoulder.

The small, squarish flag in the background is the Texas cavalry standard, prescribed by the regulations of 1839.

Copyright 1998 by Bruce Marshall All Rights Reserved
Text and images copyright 1998 by Bruce Marshall. All rights reserved.

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To order Uniforms of the Republic of Texas direct from the author/artist, send inquiries to Bruce Marshall, P.O. Box 161616, Austin, Texas, 78716 or call 1-512-327-3377. You may also purchase Uniforms of the Republic of Texas online at BarnesandNoble.com by clicking on the "Click to buy the book" icon. Buy Uniforms of the Republic of Texas and the Men that Wore Them, 1836-1846
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