Richard Montgomery Gano
Richard Montgomery Gano (1830-1913) was a
physician, Protestant minister, and brigadier generalin the army of the Confederate States during the American Civil War.
Richard Gano was born
17 June 1830near Springdale in Bourbon County, Kentucky, the son of John Allen Gano, who was the son of Gen. Richard M. Gano, veteran of the War of 1812. John Allen Gano was a minister in the Disciples of Christand was active in the Restoration Movementwith Alexander Campbelland Barton W. Stone. The first General Richard Gano was the son of Rev. John Ganoand Sarah Stites. (Rev. John Gano was the first pastor of the First Baptist Church of New York City and was known as the "Fighting Chaplain" for his Revolutionary War exploits. He is also credited with having baptized George Washington in the Potomac River.)
Richard was baptized into the church at age ten, and at twelve he entered
Bacon Collegein Harrodsburg, Kentucky(Bacon was the progenitor of the University of Kentucky). He completed his course of studies at Bethany College in Bethany, Virginia (now West Virginia) about 1847, and then attended Louisville Medical Universityin Louisville, Kentucky, from which he graduated in 1849.
Gano practiced medicine first in Kentucky, then in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana(including two years as physician to the Louisiana State Prison), until 1858. He married Martha ("Mattie") Jones Welchof Crab Orchard, Kentucky, 15 March 1853in Garrard County, Kentucky, and they had twelve children, nine of whom lived to adulthood. Martha was born 8 October 1832and died 22 September 1895in Dallas, Texas.
In 1859, Gano moved his family to Grapevine Prairie, Texas, in northeast Tarrant County (roughly on the present site of the
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport), and began farming and stockraising, as well as continuing to practice medicine. He was particularly interested in introducing Kentucky race horsebreeds to Texas. He was soon involved in community efforts to pursue Comancheraiding parties, and was presented a sword for his efforts by local citizens. In 1860, he was elected to the Texas legislature from Tarrant County, where he was active in debates on frontier defense and agricultural issues.
He resigned his seat early in 1861 to enter Confederate service and on
June 1was elected captainof the "Grapevine Volunteers", a company of mounted riflemen he had raised. By early March 1862, he had reorganized his unit into a partial cavalry squadron of two companies, which was mustered into direct Confederate service and was assigned to Col. John Hunt Morgan's 2nd Kentucky Cavalryat Chattanooga, Tennessee. Capt. Gano, commanding Company G, took part in Morgan's first Kentucky raid in July 1862 as well as Morgan's raid on the Louisville & Nashville Railroadin August. During the latter campaign, he was promoted to majorin command of a full cavalry squadron (his original two companies plus a third company raised in Tennessee), which he led at the Battle of Gallatin.
In September 1862, Gano's squadron became the nucleus of the new
7th Kentucky CavalryRegiment and he was promoted to colonelin Gen. Morgan's new cavalry brigade. The regiment took part in all the actions of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith's invasion of Kentucky in the fall of 1862, culminating in the Battle of Perryvilleon October 8, the Battle of Lexingtonon October 17, and the retreat into east Tennessee. The 7th Kentucky Cavalry subsequently took part in Morgan's second Kentucky raid, December 1862 to January 1863, and by February Gano (though still a colonel) was in command of the First Cavalry Brigadeof Gen. Morgan's cavalry division. On April 3, the brigade was attacked at Snows Hill, Tennesseeby some 8,000 Union infantry and cavalry and was forced to withdraw to McMinnville. Shortly after this, Morgan's forces were essentially destroyed during Morgan's Raid, and the remnants rejoined Gano's depleted brigade. On 18 September1863, Col. Gano commanded both his own brigade and Morgan's survivors under Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrestat the Battle of Chickamauga.
Gano left active service for a period because of illness, then was promoted to
brigadier general(though he did not receive his "official" promotion until 17 March 1865) and took the eighty-odd survivors of his original Texas cavalry unit (now called the "Gano Guards") back to Bonham, Texas. There he assumed command, 10 October1863, of all Texas cavalry operating in the Trans-Mississippi Department. On December 27, Gano's brigade captured and occupied Waldron, Arkansas, and in April 1864 he suffered an arm wound at a skirmish at Moscow, Arkansas. Two months later, he commanded the attack on Fort Smith, Arkansas, and on 27 July1864 he led an attack on the U.S. 6th Kansas Cavalryat Massard Prairie, Arkansas.
A few weeks later, Gano's brigade, with accompanying
artillery, moved to Indian Territoryand on September 19he commanded both the Fifth Texas Cavalry Brigade(made up of the 29th, 30th, and 31st Texas Cavalryand Howell's Artillery Battery) and Brig. Gen. Stand Watie's First Indian Brigade(consisting of Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole) at the second Battle of Cabin Creek. (His commission reportedly predated Stand Watie's by one month, putting him in command by seniority -- but it also seems unlikely that his Texas troopers would have allowed themselves to be commanded by a Cherokee.) In this action, the general was wounded again but Confederate forces totalling about 2,000 captured a federal supply train of some three hundred wagons and 750 mules, valued at more than two million dollars. In a congratulatory telegram, Gen. Kirby Smith called this "one of the most brilliant raids of the entire war".
In January 1865, as part of a last reorganization of troops west of the Mississippi by Kirby Smith, the brigade was ordered to Nacogdoches, but on
May 26, the Army of the Trans-Mississippisurrendered to federal forces. Gano had been recommended for promotion to major generalbut the war ended before this could be acted upon.
In 1866, Gano returned to Kentucky, where he was ordained a minister in the Disciples of Christ by his father and by
Winthrop Hobsonof the Old Union Church. By 1870, he had taken up residence in Dallas, where he resumed stockraising and preached regularly. Over the next thirty years, he was instrumental in establishing a number of churches, both in north Texas and in Kentucky, and was active in the Prohibitionmovement of the 1880s.
As a stockman in the later 19th century, Gano imported a number of important bloodlines into Texas, including cattle, horses, sheep, and hogs. He also was a general businessman, forming a real estate company with two of his sons, and serving as vice president of the Estado Land and Cattle Company and as a director of the Bankers and Merchants National Bank in Dallas. These involvements led to his becoming a millionaire. He also was active in
United Confederate Veterans.
Richard Gano died
27 March 1913at his home at the corner of [http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=32.809021,-96.808577&spn=0.004318,0.007940 Cedar Springs and Oaklawn Avenue] in Dallas and is buried in Oakland Cemetery.
In recent years, the "dog-trot" house he purchased at Grapevine Prairie in 1856 was moved to Dallas's [http://www.oldcitypark.org/thefarm.htm Old City Park] . The house was originally built of logs and was later covered with white clapboard siding. Gen. Richard M. Gano Chapter #2433 of the
United Daughters of the Confederacy, Texas Division, meets in Irving, Texas.
ources & additional reading
* The [http://www.acu.edu/academics/library/cfm/manind/man002_outline.html papers of John Allen Gano and Richard Gano] are housed in the collection of Brown Library,
Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas.
* Roberts, Oran M. "Confederate Military History of Texas."
* "Richard M. Gano." IN: Scott, Laurence W. "Texas Pulpit by Christian Preachers." St. Louis: Christian Publishing Company, 1888. pp. 397-98.
* Warren, Steven L. "Brilliant Victory: The Second Civil War Battle of Cabin Creek, Indian Territory." Wyandotte, Okla.: Gregarth Publishing Co, 2004.
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