Hood's Texas Brigade Flag     Hood's Texas Brigade Association, Re-Activated


Hood's Texas Brigade

Monument to Hood's
Texas Brigade at the Texas State Capitol

The brigade was organized on October 22, 1861, in Richmond, Virginia. It was initially commanded by Brig. Gen. Louis T. Wigfall and composed of the First, Fourth, and Fifth Texas Infantry Regiments, the only Texas troops to fight in the Eastern Theater. Originally, the First Texas was commanded by Wigfall and Lt. Col. Hugh McLeod, the Fourth Texas by Col. John Bell Hood and Lt. Col. John Marshall, and the Fifth Texas by Col. James J. Archer and Lt. Jerome B. Robertson. On November 20, 1861, the Eighteenth Georgia Infantry Regiment, commanded by William T. Wofford, was attached. On June 1, 1862, eight infantry companies from Wade Hampton's South Carolina Legion, commanded by Lt. Colonel Martin W. Gary, were added, and in November 1862 the Third Arkansas Infantry, commanded by Col. Van H. Manning, joined the brigade. Both the Georgia and South Carolina units were transferred out in November 1862, but the Third Arkansas remained a part of the brigade until the end of the war.

Wigfall resigned command of the brigade on February 20, 1862, and on March 7 Hood was promoted to brigadier general and placed in command. Because of his daring leadership the brigade adopted the name of Hood's Texas Brigade, despite his brief service of only six months as commander. The brigade served throughout the war in James Longstreet's First Corps of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. It participated in at least twenty-four battles in 1862, including Eltham's Landing, Gaines' Mill, Second Manassas, and Sharpsburg (Antietam). In October the Third Arkansas Regiment replaced the Eighteenth Georgia and Hampton's Legion. On November 1, 1862, Brig. Gen. Jerome B. Robertson became brigade commander, and Hood was elevated to command of the division in which the Texas Brigade was attached.

Gettysburg and Beyond

In April 1863 the brigade saw service in North Carolina; in May it rejoined Lee's army; and on July 1, 2, and 3 took part in the Battle of Gettysburg. With Longstreet's Corps transferred to 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 attempted to personally lead the Texans in one of the charges, but was turned back by the admiring Texans. After Gen. 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 commanded the Fifth Texas, 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 only 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.