The Civil War in the East

1st Texas Infantry Regiment

 

The Texas regiments of the Army of Northern Virginia are honored by monuments on the Antietam battlefield, on the Gettysburg battlefield, and on the Wilderness battlefield.

1861

Spring

The regiment formed with twelve companies under Colonel Louis Trezevant Wigfall and Lieutenant Colonel Hugh McLeod (USMA 1835).

Spring and summer

The companies of the regiment moved individually to Virginia

October 1

Captain Alexis T. Rainey of Company H was promoted to major

November 13

Colonel Wigfall was promoted to brigadier general and given command of the Texas Brigade. Lieutenant Colonel McLeod was promoted to colonel, Major Rainey to lieutenant colonel, and Captain Harvey H. Black of Company A to major.

1862

January 2

Colonel McLeod died of pneumonia at Dumfries, Virginia. Lieutenant Colonel Rainey was promoted to colonel, Major Black to lieutenant colonel and Captain Albert G. Clopton of Company D to major

February

Brigadier Genral Wigfall resigned his commission to take his seat as senator in the Confederate Senate.

April

The regiment mustered 477 men

May 7

Eltham's Landing

Lt. Colonel Black was killed. Major Clopton was promomted to lieutenant colonel.

May

Lt. Colonel Clopton resigned. A medical doctor with a degree from Tulane University, he was commissioned a surgeon in 1863 and joined the medical department.

May 19

Captain Philip A. Work of Company F was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain Matthew Dale of Company G to major.

June 27

Gaines' Mill

Colonel Rainey was wounded. He returned to Texas on disability and never returned to the field. Lieutenant Colonel Work took command of the regiment but could not be promoted to colonel, as Rainey was still carried on the regimental roster as absent on disability.

August 30

Second Battle of Manassas

September 14

Battle of South Mountain

September 17

Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam)

The regiment took part in Hood's counterattack against Hooker's First Corps in Miller's Cornfield, driving them back to their artillery supports, but at a heavy cost. It lost 194 men of the 226 men engaged. Eight color bearers were shot down, and the regiment's flag was left behind in the Cornfield.

 

Major Matthew Dale and Lieutenants Robert H. Gaston, F.L. Hoffman, Samuel F. Patton, Clinton Perry, J. Perry Runnels, Thomas P. Sanford and James C.S. Thompson were killed.

 

Captain Richard Cotton and Lieutenant James Waterhouse were mortally wounded. Captains Howard Ballinger, John H. Massey, George T. Todd and Samuel A. Wilson and Lieutenants William Bedell, Elbert Jemison, Thomas Rose and Berry Webb were wounded.

 

From the first of two markers to the brigade on the Antietam battlefield:

September 16, 1862.

On the approach of the First Army Corps on the evening of the 16th, Wofford's Brigade advanced and formed line in the south edge of the Cornfield, its left on the Hagerstown Pike. The 4th Texas, deployed as skirmishers, encountered the advance of Seymour's Brigade and was forced back but, reenforced by the 5th Texas on its right, held the East Woods until darkness put an end to the engagement. At 10 P. M. the Brigade was relieved by Lawton's Brigade and withdrew to the woods west of Dunkard Church.

 

From the second brigade marker:

September 17, 1862.

At 7 A.M., Wofford's Brigade, advancing from the woods in rear of the Dunkard Church, crossed the Hagerstwon Pike near the church and, moving north, its left (Hampton Legion) resting on the Pike, relieved Lawton's and Hays' Brigades of Ewell's Division, about 145 to 160 yards south of this and engaged the Union line in the cornfield about 75 yards north of this road. The 5th Texas was sent to the assistance of Law's Brigade on the right. The four remaining Regiments maintained a contest rarely equalled in warfare. They penetrated the cornfield, the 1st Texas advancing to its northern edge, but their advance was checked. After losing more than one half its numbers, the Brigade fell back to the fields southwest of the Dunkard Church, and was not again engaged. The Brigade went into action numbering 854; its loss in killed, wounded and missing was 560. The 1st Texas carried into action 226 officers and men, of whom 186 were killed or wounded.

 

After the battle Captain Frederick S. Bass of Company E was promoted to major.

December 13

Battle of Fredericksburg

The regiment was not heavily engaged.

1863

April - May

Suffolk Campaign

The regiment was detatched with the rest of Hood's Division for the campaign around Suffolk, Virginia, missing the Battle of Chancellorsville.

May

Captain John R. Woodward of Company G was made acting major

July 2-3

Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Work. Work temporarily took command of the brigade for a short time when General Robertson was wounded on July 2. The regiment brought 426 men to Gettysburg in 12 instead of the usual 10 companies, and lost 29 killed, 46 wounded, and 22 missing or captured. Lieutenant Benjamin Campbell was killed and Captain (Acting Major) J.R. Woodward was mortally wounded in the head by a shell fragment.

 

From the monument to Robertson's Brigade on the Gettysburg battlefield:

July 2. Arrived after a march of several miles and formed line 50 yards west of this at 4 P. M. Advanced against the Union positions. The 4th and 5th Texas joined in the attack on Little Round Top which continued until dark. The 1st and 3d Arkansas attacked and assisted in taking Devil's Den and Rocky Ridge with a number of prisoners and 3 guns of the 4th New York Battery.
 
July 3. At 2 A. M. the 1st Texas and 3d Arkansas were moved to the right and joined the 4th and 5th Texas on the northwest spur of Big Round Top. Three regiments occupied the breastworks there all day skirmishing hotly with Union sharpshooters. Early in the day the 1st Texas was sent to confront the Union Cavalry threatening the right flank. After night the Brigade took position near here.
 
July 5. About 5 A. M. began the march to Hagerstown Md.
 
Present about 1100 Losses about 540

 

From the State of Texas monument at Gettysburg:

From near this spot the Texas Brigade at about 4:30 p.m. on July 2 crossed Emmitsburg Road and advanced with Hood's Division across Plum Run toward Little Round Top. The Texas Brigade after severe fighting on the slopes of Little Round Top retired to a position on the south side of Devil's Den. The Brigade held this position the night of July 2 and during the day on July 3 then fell back to a position near this memorial on the evening of July 3. On the field at Gettysburg the Texas Brigade suffered 597 casualties.

September 10

The Texas Brigade transfers with Hood's and McLaw's Divisions to the Army of the Tennessee

September 18

Lieutenant Colonel Work returned to Texas due to illness. Major Bass took command of the regiment

September 19-20

Battle of Chickamauga

Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John P. Bane, the regiment was in the attack that broke the Federal line on the second day of the battle. The regiment lost 34 men killed, 40 wounded and 3 captured. Lt. Colonel Bane was wounded.

1864

January

Colonel Rainey was removed from the regimental rolls and Lt. Colonel Work resigned due to syphilis. Major Bass was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain Richard J. Harding of Company B to major.

April

The regiment returned to Virginia with the rest of Longstreet's men.

May 6-7

Battle of the Wilderness

The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Bass and took part in the "Lee to the Rear" incident before charging with the Texas Brigade to plug a gap in the Confederate line.

 

From the front of the Texas mounment on The Wilderness battlefield:

Of approximately 800 troops involved the Texas Brigade counted over 500 casualties.

 

From the reverse of the monument:

"Who are you my boys?" Lee cried as he saw them gathering.

"Texas boys," they yelled, their number multiplying every second.

The Texans - Hood's Texans, of Longstreet's Corps, just at the right place and at the right moment! After the strain of the dawn, the sight of these grenadier guards of the South was too much for Lee. For once the dignity of the Commanding General was shattered for once his poise was shaken.

"Hurrah for Texas," he shouted, waving his hat, "Hurrah for Texas."

The willing veterans sprang into position...He would lead them in the countercharge...He spurred... Traveler
...on the heels of the infantry men.
...

"Go back, General Lee. Go back!" They cried ..."we won't go on unless you go back!"

- Douglas Southall Freeman

May 8-21

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

June 3

Battle of Cold Harbor

Major Harding was wounded in the shoulder.

July 15

Lieutenant Colonel Bass was promoted to colonel and Major Harding was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

Fall & Winter

Siege of Petersburg

October 7

Darbytown Road

Colonel Bass was wounded

November 9

Lt. Colonel Harding retired due to his Cold Harbor wound.

1865

February

Colonel Bass returned to command after recovering from his wound and was given temporary command of the Texas Brigade

April 9

Appomattox Court House

The regiment surrendered 16 officers and 133 enlisted men




 
About the Author • ©2014 Steve Hawks