CELTIC TEXAN CONFEDERATES OUTSIDE TEXAS -
IN THE EAST
Most Texans who joined the Confederate Army fought outside of Texas. William Quayle of Grapevine, Texas, a native of Ireland, commanded the first company of Texans to leave to fight for the Confederacy.
Texas sent 32 companies of men to Virginia, where they were assembled into a unit that became known as the Texas Brigade. All these companies had many Irish on their rosters. One of these companies, known as the Lone Star Guards, was raised in Waco. The unit left Waco July 22, 1861 under an Irishman, Captain Edward D. Ryan. Ryan was a successful merchant in Waco before the war. The Lone Star Guards arrived in Virginia in September, 1861, and became simply "E" Company of the 4th Texas Regiment.
The 4th Texas Regiment was commanded by an Irishman, John Bell Hood. Hood's father, Luke Hood, fought with Irishman "Mad" Anthony Wayne in the American Revolution and later on the frontier with fellow Celt Daniel Boone. Another of the Texas companies in the 4th Texas Regiment was the Hardeman Rifles from Gonzales County. They were named for Thomas Monroe Hardeman.
< General John Bell Hood..
..................Thomas Monroe Hardeman >
Hardeman's mother was the former Ophelia Polk. Her nephew was the former President of the United States, James K. Polk. Hardeman was with the company in Virginia. While in Virginia, the 4th Texas Regiment was camped near the Potomac River at Dumfries, Virginia, near the present day Quantico Marine Corps Base. The 1st Texas Infantry named the site Camp Wigfall in honor of the first commander of the Texas Brigade, General Louis T. Wigfall. The Texas flag carried into the war by the Texas Brigade was made from the wedding dress of Mrs. Wigfall.
The acreage where the camp was located belonged to a retired grocer, Wilmer McLean.
The winter of 1861 was unusually harsh in Virginia, even for the natives. Most of the Texans were used to milder winters. Adding to the Texas Regiment's discomfiture was the constant harassing fire from the Union ship, the Harriet Lane, on the Potomac. The Harriet Lane so harassed the Texas Brigade troops they never forgot her name. On board the Harriet Lane was Lieutenant Edward Lea. He was the son of Albert Miller Lea mentioned earlier. They will meet, serving different governments, in Texas, on the deck of the Harriet Lane.
The Texas Brigade was made up of the 1st Texas Regiment, the 4th Texas Regiment, and the 5th Texas Regiment. Records show the 5th Texas Regiment, during the winter of 1861, never had more than twenty-five men ready for duty out of 800 men owing to sickness caused by the weather. Thomas Monroe Hardeman was one of those who became sick. He died of his illness, far from Texas never having faced the foe he left Texas to fight.
Very active helping to console the men of the Texas Brigade, particularly the 4th Regiment to which he was assigned, was Nicholas A. Davis. Davis was a Presbyteriam Minister who was born in Bastrop, Texas. He served the 4th and the Brigade generally as Chaplain and was held in high regard by the officers and men of the Texas Brigade.
One month short of a year after leaving Texas, on June 27, 1862, the Waco company of Texans, as well as the rest of the 4th Texas Regiment saw their first major action. They also achieved distinction for their effort in that battle. The battle was the Battle of Gaines Mill, as it was known by the South.
The Union usually named a battle for the nearest body of water, the Confederates named the battle for the nearest settlement.
The battle was fought just a few miles north of Richmond, Virginia. General George McClellan was in command for the Union and Robert E. Lee was in overall command of Confederate forces. Stonewall Jackson was in command of several units engaged in the battle. His headquarters were at a Mr. McGeehee's house. Jackson's units engaged the New York Irish unit known as the Fightin' 69th.
General Lee saw attack after attack repulsed by Union forces. Lee asked Hood if his unit, the 4th Texas Regiment, could break the Union line. Hood replied they could, and they did. Irishman John Bell Hood and his Texans gave Robert E. Lee his first victory. General Lee gave John Bell Hood a promotion and made him the leader of the Texas Brigade. It became known as Hood's Texas Brigade. The defeat of McClellan's Union forces by Lee's Confederate forces at the Battle of Gaines Mill was one of the worst defeats suffered by the Union in the war. Ed Ryan, the Waco merchant who led the Lone Star Guards into battle, died of wounds sustained during the engagement.
This painting of the Texas Brigade at Gaines Mill led by General John B. Hood was done by Don Gallon for more of his work or to obtain a lithograph of this painting, go to - www.gallon.com
Another Irishman in Hood's Brigade was Matthew Duncan Ector. His grandfather, Hugh, was born in Ireland. His mother was Dorothy Duncan. Matthew Ector entered the war as a Private but was soon elected as one of his unit's Second Lieutenants. Matthew Ector left the war a Brigadier General. He raised a unit for service in the Civil War known as Ector's Brigade. It consisted of the 10th, 11th, 14th and 15th Texas Dismounted Calvary. It fought as an infantry unit throughout the war. In late 1862, it was part of Major General John P. McCown's Army of Tennessee. Ector County is named for Irishman Matthew Duncan Ector shown to the left.
Hood's Texas Brigade was in all the major battles in the East including; Second Manassas (Bull Run), Antietam(Sharpsburg), Fredricksburg, Richmond, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. The brigade was the only unit representing Texas in Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. John Bell Hood rose from First Lieutenant to Four Star General in one of the fastest career advances in the Confederate Army (ten months). He was the last full Confederate General appointed by Jefferson Davis. Although Hood commanded the Texas Brigade for only a few months, the unit continued to be known as Hood's Texas Brigade throughout the war. General John Bell Hood left the brigade and replaced General Joseph E. Johnston as Commander of the Army of Tennessee. Hood County; and Camp Hood, now Fort Hood; in Killeen, Texas are named for Confederate General John Bell Hood.
Irishman Jerome Bonaparte Robertson succeeded Hood as Commander of the Texas Brigade. He was the son of Sterling C. Robertson, the Irish impresario from Tennessee. Another son of General Robertson's, Felix Huston Robertson was also a Confederate General during the war. The only other father and son general officers in the Confederate Army was Robert E. Lee and his sons.
..............................................Brigadier General Jerome Bonaparte Robertson >
Mollie Bailey often entertained Hood's Texas Brigade while it was in Virginia. Mollie Bailey was the former Mollie Kirkland of English and Irish descent. She was a show woman who later organized a circus in Texas. In Virginia, she was not only an entertainer for the Confederacy, but also a nurse and sometime spy.
Another Texas unit in the war was known as Terry's Texas Rangers (officially they were called the Eighth Texas Calvary). The unit was commanded by Benjamin Franklin Terry a sugar plantation owner from Fort Bend County. Terry's grandfather, Nathaniel, was born in Ireland. The unit was called Terry's Texas Rangers because Terry and many of his officers were Texas Rangers before the war. General Robert E. Lee was quoted as saying "I feel safe when Terry and his Rangers are between me and the enemy."
< Benjamin Franklin Terry
Benjamin Terry was quite a marksman. Once, while scouting during the Battle of Second Manassas (Bull Run), Terry saw the enemy flag flying over the Fairfax County Court House in Virginia. With one shot, Terry cut the halyard and the flag dropped. Benjamin Terry was born in Kentucky in 1821. His family moved to Texas when he was ten. He never again saw Kentucky until he went back as Commander of Terry's Texas Rangers. He died in battle at Woodsonville, Kentucky, very close to where he was born. Terry County, Texas is named for him.
Among the Celts who fought with Terry's Rangers were his younger brother Clinton and John B. Jones of Welsh and Scotch descent. Jones became a Brigadier General before the war's end. Another Celtic memeber of Terry's Rangers was Captain Sam S. Ashe. His father's family was Scottish. His mother was born in Ireland. The town of Asheville, North Carolina is named for some of his forbears. His father was a General in the American Revolution. After the war, Captain Ashe became, in 1873, Sheriff of Harris County, Texas.
The official flag of Terry's Rangers had at its center a white circle with a red cross emblazoned with 11 stars. The Latin motto, "Ducit Amor Patriae - Love of Country Leads Us" was sewn above and "Terry's Texas Rangers" below. I am indebted to Troy Groves for the illustration of the unit's flag. The flag was made from a blue silk dress of Mary McIver, who helped to sew the flag. It was lined with white silk from her wedding gown.
A unit within Terry's Rangers was Shannon's Scouts. It was commanded by Captain Alexander Shannon shown to the left. Among the men of this unit, all of whom were from Limestone County, were Tom Burney, Felix Kennedy and Billy Lynch. Another unit under Terry's Texas Rangers was the Galveston Rifles which was organized under the command of Captain A. C. McKeen. McKeen was later a Colonel in command of the Lone Star Guards in Virginia. For more information on Terry's Texas Rangers follow the link to Troy Groves' website on Terry's Texas Rangers >
IN ARKANSAS AND MISSOURI
The Third Regiment, Texas Cavalry was organized in Dallas in June of 1861 by Irish born, Walter P. Lane. The unit reported for service to Colonel John S. Griffith, a man of Welsh descent, as a part of his Texas Brigade. This was a different Texas Brigade than that commanded by John Bell Hood. This Texas Brigade was a part of a combined Confederate force under General Ben McCulloch operating in Missouri and Arkansas. The unit fought in the Confederate victory at Oak Hills, Missouri; Wilson's Creek was the Union name for the battle. The Union lost over 1,000 men killed, and another 2,000 wounded. Confederate losses in the battle were 250 men despite the fact the Union forces had more men and better equipment. After the battle, General McCulloch agreed to release some Union prisoners in exchange for a few Rebs the Union troops held. After the exchange was made, General McCulloch released all the Union prisoners in his control, rather than feed and shelter them.General Ben McCulloch is pictured to the right.
The next battle for McCulloch's forces was at Chustenahlah Creek, near Van Buren, Arkansas. General McCulloch was away on other duties. His adjutant, General McIntosh was in command. General McIntosh was described as impetuous and gallant. Colonel Lane commanded the Third Regiment, Texas Cavalry. The enemy this time was a large band of Creek Indians. The Battle of Chustenahlah evolved into another hand-to-hand affair. Colonel John S. Griffith, Commander of the Texas Brigade, disobeyed an order given him by General McIntosh during the battle. Griffith led a charge the General did not authorize. It was successful and led to a route. Colonel Griffith is said to have told General McIntosh after the battle:
" I felt so assured that you would have ordered me to do just what I did, had you been present, that I unhesitantly assumed the responsibility; and since the merit of the move has been tested by its success, I shall in my official report of the engagement state that I moved in conformity to your direction."
McIntosh approved the Welshman's report. Griffith went on to be a Brigadier General in command of Texas State troops.
There were McIntoshs on the Indian side as well. The Creek Indians were led in battle by Opothleyahola, often reported as Hopotheola, who allied his tribe with the Union. After the battle, a half breed known as "White King" McIntosh signed treaties with the Confederacy. Thereafter, the Creeks under "White King " McIntosh, and then his son, "Chili" McIntosh fought against their traditional "bluecoated" enemy with the endorsement of the C.S.A.. Chilicothe "Chili" McIntosh was the half brother of Rebecca McIntosh Hawkins Hagerty who owned property in Cass, Henderson, and Marion counties.
The next battle involving the Third Regiment, Texas Cavalry, was in March of 1862 at the Battle of Elkhorn, or Pea Ridge as it was called by the North. General McCulloch scouted alone. General McIntosh led the first charge. Both men died in this battle. Walter Lane and Sull Ross achieved distinction during the battle. In 1863, Lawrence Sullivan Ross was made a Colonel and placed in command of the Texas Brigade. Thereafter, it was known as Ross' Texas Brigade. Sull Ross had seven horses shot out from under him during the course of the war.................................................................................................General Sul Ross>