An unknown member of Hood’s Texas Brigade



The 1st Texas Infantry was one of the core regiments in "Hood’s Texas Brigade", arguably the most celebrated infantry brigade in the Confederate Army. The 1st Texas Infantry was recruited largely from East Texas in April 1861 after the opening shots of the War. The 1st Texas Infantry was the only regiment in the Confederate Army comprised of twelve companies rather than the normal ten. Each of these companies made their way piecemeal to Virginia in the spring and summer of 1861. In the fall of 1861 the 1st Texas Infantry under the command of Colonel, Louis Trezevant Wigfall, was joined by the 4th and 5th Texas Infantry and the 3rd Arkansas Infantry at Dumfries, Va. The three regiments were brigaded together for the first time on November 13, 1861, and the Texas Brigade was born. Thus, the frontier Texans, who were admired as the best riders and riflemen in the army, began their almost matchless and unsurpassed march across the pages of history. The 1st Texas Infantry, nicknamed the "Ragged Old First," experienced its day of glory in the cornfield at Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17, 1862, suffering 82% casualties - the highest of any regiment North or South during the war.

In April 1863 the brigade moved to North Carolina; in May it rejoined Lee's army; and on July 1, 2, and 3, it took part in the battle of Gettysburg. In Georgia the brigade fought on September 19 and 20 at Chickamauga, where Hood was wounded and forced to leave his division, ending his official connection with the brigade. In Tennessee the brigade joined in the sieges of Chattanooga and Knoxville. Gen. John Gregg became commander when the brigade returned to Virginia in February 1864. In the battle of the Wilderness, General Lee personally led the Texans in one of the charges. After Gregg was killed in October the brigade was temporarily led by Col. Clinton M. Winkler and Col. F. S. Bass. At the surrender at Appomattox on April 10, 1865, Col. Robert M. Powell commanded the brigade, Capt. W. T. Hill the Fifth regiment, Lt. Col. C. M. Winkler the Fourth, Col. F. S. Bass the First, and Lt. Col. R. S. Taylor the Third Arkansas.

It is estimated that at the beginning of the war the Texas regiments comprised about 3,500 men and that during the war recruits increased the number to almost 4,400. The brigade sustained a 61 percent casualty rate and, at its surrender, numbered close to 600 officers and men. It was praised by generals Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson, James Longstreet, and Robert E. Lee and by high officials of the Confederacy. Upon surrender near Appomattox Court House on April 12, 1865 only 149 men of the 1st Texas Infantry Regiment remained to surrender their well-used Enfields and bullet riddled flag to the Union troops.

Everything is bigger in Texas including their side knives. This ninth plate ambrotype came from an estate sale in Texas.  He's a grizzled old soldier and dressed in the manner that most troops from Texas seem to have worn. This double breasted over-shirt is nearly identical to known views of members associated with the 1st Texas Infantry. Texas had a very difficult time outfitting it's troops especially those out along the edges of the Texas frontier. As a result a large majority of troops from that state wore uniforms of civilian dress. Generally a dark overcoat of some fashion and a button down over-shirt. They were also known to have a thing for these large D-guard Bowie knives. Entire regiments are recorded as being armed with them at the soldiers expense being made from whatever could be found and hammered by the local blacksmith. This one is extremely large and would come in handy if you needed bring down a buffalo or some other large and fearsome beast. A cord is around his neck with a key to his pocket watch attached. © Rick Mack 2012 quantrillguerrilas.com.  Permission should be requested and obtained before utlizing this copyrighted article and/or image. 


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