A Civil War Biography
"More Generals In Gray" by Bruce Allardice lists him as the
brother-in-law of Major-General G.W. Smith. Randal was born 1
January 1833 in McNairy County, Tennessee. His family moved to Texas
in 1839 and settled near San Augustine. In 1849 Randal and James B.
McIntyre became the first two appointees from Texas to West Point.
Randal struggled academically with deficiencies in mathematics and
English and after five years at the academy was graduated next to
last in the class of 1854. He was brevetted 2nd lieutenant in the
8th US infantry. On 3 March 1855 he was transferred to Company G of
the 1st Dragoons as a 2nd lieutenant. He served on the frontier in
Indian Territory, Arizona, New Mexico, and at Fort Bliss and Fort
Davis in Texas.
Randal resigned from the US Army on 27 February 1861 and offered his
services to the Confederacy. He was commissioned a 1st lieutenant in
the cavalry on 16 March 1861 and served in Braxton Bragg's
quartermaster corps at Pensacola, Florida before being transferred
to the Army of Northern Virginia. On 16 November 1861 Randal was
appointed aide-de-camp to Gustavus W. Smith. Randal was commissioned
a cavalry colonel on 12 February 1862 and returned to Texas to
recruit a regiment in and around Marshall. He formed what became the
28th Texas Cavalry regiment. The regiment of 12 companies, with
Randal's father, brother, and brother-in-law as members of the
staff, left Marshall on 9 July 1862 and headed to Little Rock,
Arkansas where it became part of the 2nd brigade of John G. Walker's
Texas (Greyhound) division. Randal became brigade commander on 3
September 1862. He led the brigade at Milken's Bend during the
Vicksburg campaign in June 1863 and against Nathienal P. Banks
during the Red River campaign in the spring of 1864. Randal was
appointed brigadier general by E. Kirby Smith on 8 April 1864 but
his promotion was never confirmed by the Confederate government.
Randal died from wounds received at the 30 April 1864 battle at
Jenkin's Ferry. Randall County, Texas was named for Randal. A
clerical error doubled the l's.
Return to Biography Index