January 1, 1862
The first month of 1862 brought little activity to the Texas Brigade outside the daily rituals of camplife. For most of the winter of 1861-1862, the brigade was, like the rest of the army, practically immobile because of the severe sickness that swept through the camps. J. B. Polley of the Fourth Texas noted that his regiment and the Fifth Texas were particularly hard hit. The principle ailments were measles, rheumatism, diarrhea, and typhoid fever. J. M. Polk of Company I, Fourth Texas wrote, ``...our losses in the winter of 1861 from sickness and exposure, incident to camp life were very heavy. I had the measles; had a relapse and developed a case of typhoid-pneumonia, and my fate was uncertain for about six weeks. For ten or twelve days I did not eat a mouthful of anything. Mrs. Oliver, a citizen of Richmond, had me removed to her house, and by close attention, managed to pull me through.'' Many of the Texas Brigade were lost to disease before ever firing a shot in battle. During the winter of 1861-62, scouts from the Texas Brigade would frequently cross the Occoquan River and infiltrate the Federal picket line on the north bank. Mostly, these ``raids'' went undetected.
January 2, 1862
Lieut. Col Rainey promoted Colonel of First Texas. Lieut Col. Hugh McLeod dies of pneumonia. Major Harvey Black promoted Lieut. Col.
February 20, 1862
Brig. Gen. Louis T. Wigfall finally resigned his military commission and assumed his civilian seat in Richmond. Texas Brigade was passed to the senior colonel in the brigade, Col. James J. Archer of the Fifth Texas Infantry.
February 28, 1862
A party of ten scouts from the First and Fifth Texas Regiments found themselves in a deserted house near Pohick Run, surrounded by a large detachment of Federal cavalry and infantry. The Yankee commander, Lt. Col. Burk of the 37th New York Infantry, demanded the Texans' surrender. A short firefight ensued, until an imaginative Texan yelled from a second story window, ``Hurra boys, [Wade] Hampton's coming, I hear him on the bridge.'' Hearing this, Lt. Col. Burk and his men promptly fled the scene, leaving their dead behind. Hampton, of course, was nowhere to be seen., James S. Spratling of Co. E, First Texas. Spratling was the first member of the Texas Brigade to be killed in action.
March - June 1862
Assigned Texas Brigade, Whiting's-G.W. Smith's-Whiting's Division, Army of Northern Virginia
March 1, 1862
Buried the dead Federals and tended to the wounded.
March 2, 1862
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, commander of the Dept. of Northern Virginia, ordered all Confederate troops along the Potomac River to abandon their line and move southward to Fredericksburg.
March 5, 1862
A detail of 20 men from each of the Texas regiments was sent up to Occoquan Creek to serve as a rear guard for Hampton's South Carolina Legion as it moved south.
March 8, 1862
Brigade finally moves south to Rappahannock defense line in Virginia. Colonel Hood promoted to Brigadier General. Archer returned to his former command as colonel of the Fifth Texas. Hood's new rank of brigadier general was dated March 8. Excess clothing and baggage sent to the Texas Depot in Richmond and departed camp to South and Southwest. The Texas Brigade left its camps near Dumfries and reluctantly moved south. Noting the bitter disappointment and low morale as it ``retreated'' toward Fredericksburg, The men marched on, carrying only their personal belongings, frying pans, and camp kettles. Only one wagon was allowed for every two companies. The remainder of their possessions, tents, and cooking utensils were left behind to prevent the Yankees from discovering that the camps had been abandoned. The Texas Brigade marched eight miles on bad roads that day, finally camping at 10 pm on the south bank of Chopawamsic Creek.
March 9, 1862
The brigade continued its ``mud march'' another 8 miles and went into bivouac on Austin's Run near Stafford Court House. Many of the men throw away their personal baggage on the march. Marched into camp before dark. The regiments are camped on two hills facing each other.
Marched to within 4 miles of Fredericksburg. First Sergeant Oscar Downs of the Fourth Texas wrote in his diary, ``The roads are awful and my shoulders are nearly bleeding from carrying a heavy knapsack. I thought several times that I was broken down, but as I was the Orderly I could not give up.''
March 11, 1862
March 12, 1862
Crossed the Rappahannock River at Falmouth, and went into camp in a beautiful pine orchard about two miles west of Fredericksburg. The Rappahannock was now the new Confederate defensive line. Col. Hood received orders from Richmond that he was to assume command of the brigade from Col. Archer, his senior in rank by a few days. Col A.T. Rainey takes command of the First.
March 13, 1862
A scavenging and scouting party was organized. The party of 48 was to return to Dumfries, Va with the hope of capturing or killing Yankees and recovering as much Confederate property as they could handle.
March 14, 1862
Brigade camped at Fredericksburg.
March 20, 1862
The raiding party sent out on the 13th captures many prisoners, reclaimed much of the abandoned property, and burned the huts that had protected them throughout the harsh winter. One of the prisoners was a Chinese servant who made the mistake of ``giving lip'' to Pvt. J. C. Barker of Co. G, Fourth Texas. Barker placed the ``ruthless invader'' across his lap and administered a belt lashing that the servant had probably not received since childhood. Such scouting and scavenging parties to Dumfries would be common until the brigade's next movement early the following month. They destroy the camp and march back with as much property as they can carry.
April 2, 1862
Federals try to capture raiding party and entire brigade is mobilized but Federal force escapes. The Brigade camps the night and marched back to Fredericksburg in the morning
April 3, 1862
The regiment played hide and seek with the Excelsior Brigade from New York during the night. 1Sgt. D.B. Samuel resigned. Union General Dan Sickles and his New York Excelsior Brigade crossed the Potomac near Chopawamsic Creek and marched south to Stafford Court House, eight miles north of Fredericksburg. The Excelsiors were the same troops that had tangled with Texas scouts near Pohick Run just over a month before. The Excelsiors again encountered scouts from Hood's Brigade near Aquia Church and engaged them in a skirmish. The overwhelmed scouts withdrew. The Texas Brigade was dispatched to the scene. Hood's brigade marched out at 10 pm, with the Fifth Texas in the van and the 18th Georgia in the rear. The brigade marched all night, but failed to contact Sickles' force.
April 4, 1862
Brigade called out for an all night forced march to repel a Yankee brigade that had crossed the Potomac but they had crossed back before the Brigade could be engage. Spent the night in a snowstorm on an exposed hill south of Dumfries.
April 5, 1862
Began march back to camp by way of Falmouth in the morning.
April 6, 1862
Hood received orders to prepare his brigade for a southward march on an hour's notice. Stragglers and foragers were to be severely disciplined.
April 7, 1862
The regiment pulled out of the Rappahannock defense line and started the march to Yorktown. The brigade marched through sleet, snow, and rain to Milford Station on the railroad below Fredericksburg. Without blankets and tools for building fires, the brigade spent a miserable day soaked and chilled to the bone. Hood remarked that it was ``the severest weather that he had ever experienced on a march.'' When the troops reached a very wide and waist-deep creek along the way, they waited for Hood to come up and give direction. The new brigadier promptly dismounted his horse and plunged into the creek, exhorting his men to follow. They did so without hesitation.
April 8, 1862
Arrived Milford (Fredericksburg). Boarded cars of the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad for a 21 mile trip southward to Ashland
April 10, 1862
Arrived Ashland. Here the brigade rested, drilled, and cleaned their equipment.
April 14, 1862
Began the last 85 miles of its march down the peninsula to Yorktown.
April 19, 1862
Arrived Yorktown after a leisurely and uneventful trip, and took went into camp two miles west of town near trenches dug during the Revolutionary War. Hood's men were tired of the marching, drilling, and inactivity. The Brigade in fine spirits... and anxious for a fight feeling perfectly confident that we can and will beat the enemy. The men were soon called upon to provide sharpshooters to harass Yankee scouts and skirmishers who closely approached the Confederate works. The Federals soon learned the effectiveness of Enfield rifles in the hands of the Texans and Georgians, and they quickly ceased their infiltrations. Stationed in defensive lines near Yorktown harassing union troops besieging Yorktown.
April 26, 1862
Stationed in defensive lines near Yorktown harassing union troops besieging Yorktown. Held a dress parade.
May 3, 1862
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston ordered the Confederate forces at Yorktown to withdraw north toward Richmond. The Texas Brigade was detailed as the rear guard. Johnston's intended surprise move, however, was spoiled by looting Confederate cavalry who accidentally set off hidden mines and precipitated a large fire in the town.
May 4, 1862
The Texas Brigade cleared the burning Yorktown by the morning acting as rear guard for the main body which had departed the day before., by 10 AM passed through the main Confederate line drawn up near Williamsburg, and camped four miles north-east of town on the road to Barnhamsville. Torrential rains this day. Mud makes roads almost impassable.
May 5, 1862
Company M mustered into service at Sumter, Texas. Whiting's Division marched northwest through the hamlet of Burnt Ordinary toward Eltham's Landing (or West Point) on the Pamunkey River. Whiting was ordered to prevent the landing of a large amphibious force under Union Gen. William B. Franklin which was advancing along the Pamunkey. After an exhausting 14-mile march through rain and mud, Whiting's men fell into bivouac north of Barnhamsville and 2 miles from Eltham's Landing.
May 6, 1862
Heavy rain this day. Whiting's Division remained in bivouac through day awaiting -- as ordered -- its lagging supply trains. The commissary permitted the troops to forage the countryside, and Gen. Hood's men took full advantage of a nearby corn crib. Chaplain Davis wrote that ``such corn-cracking as followed has seldom been heard outside a hog-pen.'' Meanwhile, Whiting advanced Texas scouts and skirmishers to determine Franklin's location and strength. Word was returned that Franklin was putting ashore infantry and artillery in the vicinity of Eltham's Landing. Contact was made that night, as shots were exchanged between opposing scouts and pickets.
May 7, 1862
Attacked Yankees at Elthem’s Landing and drove them back into the river. At ten o'clock Whiting's forces took up the march as the rear most Confederate division with the Texas Brigade assuming the function of the rear guard of the entire Southern army. That night, Whiting ordered Hood and Hampton to lead their brigades back to their bivouac area north of Barnhamsville and remain there until the trains had cleared the road to Richmond. Lieut Col. Harvey H Black is Killed.
May 8, 1862
Resumed march to Richmond 2 hours before dawn. Several times during the slow retreat the Texans had to face about and fight off the Federal advance guard. The mud along the retreat was so deep that the ``boys would be sounding the mud and water like sailors sound the sea. All up and down the line they would be halooing `ankle deep, knee deep, thigh deep, etc.'''
May 9, 1862
Overtook army by 12:00 and reached Long Bridge on the Chickohominy by afternoon. Bivouaced in a lural grove. Brigade became the last Confederate unit to cross the Chickahominy and bivouacked on the south side of the river at 10pm.
May 15, 1862
After being relieved from duty in the front lines the regiment marched towards Richmond and camped at "Pine Island" three miles northeast of the city on the Mechanicsville Turnpike.
May 19, 1862
Camped at Pine Island. The regiment re-enlisted and reorganized. Rainey was elected Colonel, Work as Lieutenant Colonel, Dale as Major.
May 22, 1862
Marched across the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge as part of an ill-planned offensive against the Federals. After hiding all day in woods, marched back to camps. A few days later, Johnston enacted a second plan to attack the Federals south of the Chickahominy before they could be reinforced from north of the river. Bivouac at Pine Island about 3 miles Northeast of Richmond on the Mechanicsville Turnpike
May 31 - June 1, 1862
The Battle of Seven Pines. The regiment was not directly engaged in the battle either of the two days. Held in reserve suffering fire from artillery and long range musketry. 200 men go out on the 31st and 1st to act as sharpshooters.
Assigned Texas Brigade, Whiting's Division, Valley District, Dept. of Northern Virginia
June 2, 1862
Engaged in minor skirmishing near Richmond.
June 3, 1862
With both armies positioned as they were before Seven Pines, Lee reorganized his army. Hood's Brigade was strengthened with the addition of Hampton's Legion -- eight infantry companies from South Carolina. For the next week, approximately 200 officers and men of the Texas Brigade were detailed to act as spies, scouts, and sharpshooters in a search for weaknesses in the Federal lines. According to Rev. Davis, these men ``operated beyond and independently of the regular pickets, and soon became at terror to the enemy.''
June 7, 1862
Overran the 71st Pennsylvania, capturing, wounding, or killing about 50 of the enemy in the rout.
June 11, 1862
Whiting's Division was ordered to march to Richmond as the first step toward reinforcing Gen. T. J. ``Stonewall'' Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley. (Lee planned to fool the Federals into thinking that Jackson, fresh from his highly successful Valley Campaign, was turning his sights on Washington. Lee hoped this feint would keep Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell's 30,000-man corps close to Washington, thereby preventing McDowell from reinforcing McClellan.) By 5 pm, the Texas Brigade and Whiting's old brigade (now under the command of Colonel Evander Law) marched from their camps through Richmond and over the James River to the depot of the Richmond and Danville Railroad, where they spent the night. Along the way, the men were ordered to make loud demonstrations to ensure that word of their movement would be sent North.
June 12, 1862
Boarded the Richmond and Danville trains and six days later after 235 miles and many changes of trains arrived at Staunton, Virginia.
Jackson and Whiting marched eastward through the Blue Ridge toward Charlottesville. Boarding the Virginia Central Railroad at Meecham's Station, the Texas Brigade alternatively rode and marched to Frederick Hall, about 35 miles Northwest of Richmond. The area had many apple jack-mills and many of the men sample too much along the way.
June 20, 1862
After passing through Charlottesville they went to Gordonsville and then onto Frederick Hall north-west of Richmond. The men had travelled almost 400 miles in 10 days.
June 23, 1862
The regiment detrained at Frederick Hall and marched toward Ashland.
June 25, 1862
The regiment arrived at Ashland, receiving their rations and ammunition issue here.
June - July 1862
Assigned Texas Brigade, Whiting's Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
June 26, 1862
Skirmish in the vicinity of Totopotomy Creek. Col Rainey commanding. Hood's Brigade led Jackson's Army Southeast through Ashland toward the village of Cold Harbor, just north of the Chickahominy. Along the way, Hood's men were impeded by skirmishing Federal outposts, felled trees, and burned bridges. Among them was part of a Pennsylvania regiment called "Bucktails" from a long imitation deer tails in their caps. From the south came the sounds of the battle now raging at Mechanicsville. (Gen. A. P. Hill initiated Lee's offensive against McClellan without the planned assistance from Jackson, who had lingered too long at Frederick Hall and Ashland. Hill was repulsed with heavy losses.) That evening, Jackson's men reached Hundley's Corner, where they bivouacked for the night.
June 27, 1862
The Battle of Gaine's Mill. Col Rainey commanding. Made contact with 7th New Jersey at Gaine’s Mill. Attacked at 6:00 PM and drove them from their defensive positions enemy at Gaine’s Mill. Col Rainey is wounded and returned to Texas on disability furlough never to return to regiment. Command passes to Lieut Col. Work.
June 28, 1862
Day was spent tending to the dead and wounded.
July 1862 - February 1863
Assigned Texas Brigade, Whiting's-Hood's Division, 1st Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
July 1, 1862
The Battle of Malvern Hill. Lieut Col. Work commanding. The Texas Brigade left its bivouac near White Oak Swamp and moved with Lee's army toward Malvern Hill, where McClellan had massed his artillery and infantry to protect the Union supply base at Harrison's Landing. Along the way, Whiting's Division encountered light opposition from the Federal rear guard and occasionally came under fire from long-range Yankee artillery. By 11 am, the two brigades deployed on the extreme left of Lee's position to guard the Confederate artillery massed there. To their extreme right, Lee was sending his divisions piecemeal into suicidal attacks against the strongly entrenched Union infantry and artillery on Malvern Hill. Hood's front, on the other hand, was relatively calm. Having learned from his scouts of an open avenue of attack to his left, Hood requested permission to assault the exposed Federal right flank. Whiting refused, so the Texas Brigade remained in place absorbing Federal artillery shells for the rest of the day. Hood's Brigade suffered 52 casualties on the day -- 6 killed, 45 wounded, and 1 missing.
July 2, 1862
Camped at Malvern Hill and Harrison Landing McClellan was gone, having fallen back to the safety of his gunboats down the James River. Richmond was no longer threatened.
July 8, 1862
Ordered to march to camp on the Mechanicsville Road three miles from Richmond between the Central rail Road and The Mechanicsville pike.
July 9, 1862
March towards Richmond. Heavy rains drenched the Seven Days' battlefields and exposed many of the hastily buried dead along the Chickahominy. The stench from men and horses was intolerable.
July 10, 1862
The brigade arrived near Richmond and was ordered into camp between the Virginia Central Railroad and the Mechanicsville Pike, three miles northeast of the city. The Texans pitched their tents on exactly the spot from which they marched to Seven Pines on the morning of May 31. Time spent refitting and reequipping made easier by the large amount of captured Federal equipment and clothing.
July 11, 1862
Camped on the Mechanicsville Road three miles from Richmond. Hundreds of wounded from the Texas Brigade were scattered about Richmond. Many of the wounded were confined at Chimborazo Hospital on the city's east side. Hospitals as very unsanitary.
July 26, 1862
Gen. Whiting was given a thirty-day furlough for disability. Whiting's difficulty may have been mental rather than physical, as he was often reported to have been under the influence of whiskey or narcotics. Command of the division was assumed by Gen. Hood, the senior of the division officers.
August 8, 1862
Ordered to leave its camp near Richmond as part of a movement by Gen. James Longstreet's command to reinforce Gen. Stonewall Jackson's divisions north of the Rapidan. (Gen. Robert E. Lee had sent Jackson across the river to flank Union General John Pope's newly formed Army of Virginia before it could advance southward against Richmond.) Under light marching orders, the Texas Brigade moved out on Brook Pike and followed the line of the Virginia Central Railroad toward Louisa Court House. A company of men from Trinity County, Texas, joined the brigade as Co. M of the First Texas. They would be the 32nd and last new company to arrive east from Texas. Extensively hot weather. Average 13 miles per day
August 11, 1862
The march was leisurely until word was received of Jackson's indecisive engagement with Union Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks' corps at Cedar Mountain two days before. Longstreet's command was ordered to march quickly from Gordonsville to the south bank of the Rapidan, where Jackson had fallen back. Longstreet reached the Rapidan
August 15, 1862
The regiment reached Raccoon Ford on the Rapidan River.
August 20, 1862
Lee ordered Jackson and Longstreet across the Rapidan in pursuit of Pope, who was withdrawing northward to the Rappahannock in the face of Lee's combined force. The Texas Brigade crossed the Rapidan River at Raccoon Ford and led Longstreet's advance.
August 21, 1862
Skirmish at Freeman's Ford. Encountered Yankees and drove them back across the Rappahanock River in light fighting.
August 22, 1862
Lt. Col. J. C. Upton of the Fifth Texas led a heavy line of skirmishers against the Federals at Freeman's Ford and cleared the way for the rest of the Texas Brigade to cross the Rappahannock. The river was crossed late that afternoon, and the brigade bivouacked for the night north of the river at the edge if a large cornfield. It rained so hard that evening that the brigade's commissary wagons were unable to ford the river, and the brigade went supperless. Camped on the shores of the Rappahanock
August 23, 1862
The regiment was involved in the incident of the "Roasting Ears Fight". A number of the brigade entered the cornfield (against Lee's explicit order against foraging) to secure breakfast. Unknown to the Texans, a large Federal scouting party from Gen. Franz Sigel's Federal Division had camped on the northern edge of the same cornfield. The inevitable encounter between the opposing forces in the middle of the cornfield resulted in fist fighting, wrestling, and volleys of roasting ears. Outnumbered, the Federals soon withdrew, leaving the Texans in sole possession of the field. To appease the hunger of his troops in a manner suitable to Gen. Lee, Texas Brigade Quartermaster J. H. Littlefield purchased the entire 100-acre cornfield. Foraging thus became an authorized activity, and the each of Hood's men found himself well satisfied with the spoils of the ``Roasting Ears Fight.'' Camped on the shores of the Rappahanock.
August 24, 1862
While the men were preparing their meal, they received orders to march immediately.
August 25, 1862
The regiment Bivouacked near Waterloo Bridge for the night.
August 26, 1862
At 2 pm Longstreet ordered the brigade from Waterloo Bridge toward Throughfare Gap in the Bull Run Mountains, where they were to once again support Jackson's command which had gained the rear of Pope's army near Manassas Junction and cut off the enemy's communication with Washington. The Texas Brigade went through Orlean, marched all night.
August 27, 1862
Waded the headwaters of Carter's Run early in the morning. Crossed the Manassas Gap Railroad at Salem that afternoon and bivouacked for the night at White Plains. Covered 40 miles in two days. The incident of "The Old Gray Mare Came Tearing Out of the Wilderness", which became a favorite marching song of the Texans and is now known as "The Old Gray Mare".
August 28, 1862
After a scanty breakfast, the brigade resumed its march and reached thoroughfare Gap by mid-afternoon. The march had been a punishing one: 30 miles with heavy packs on dusty roads under a cloudless sky in the August heat. Longstreet's men found Thoroughfare Gap guarded by Gen. James B. Rickett's Division of Gen. Irvin McDowell's Corps. Longstreet ordered Hood's Division and two brigades of Gen. D. R. Jones' Division to clear the Gap, which they promptly did. By evening the brigade was leading Longstreet's command through Thoroughfare Gap to the east slopes of the Bull Run Mountains. From this vantage point, the flashes of Jackson's guns engaged at Groveton, ten miles east could be seen.
August 29, 1862
The Battle of Second Manassas. Lieut Col. Work commanding . Attacked at 7:00 PM and drove back the Yankees at near Groveton.
August 30, 1862
Moved against Chinn Ridge in the morning. Routed a line of New York Zouaves, the brigade moved on to capture a Union Battery and then cleared the Yankees out of woods at the foot of the ridge.
August 31, 1862
Camped at the Manasas battle field. Tended to the dead and wounded. Bivouacs near Henery House Hill Relieved the dead Federal soldiers of their socks, shoes and clothing.