On 21 October 1861 … the 1st, 4th and 5th Texas Volunteer Infantry Regiments (along with the 18th Georgia) are officially organized into The “Texas” Brigade. The very next day, 22 October 1861, Colonel Louis T. Wigfall is promoted to Brigadier General and becomes the first commander of The Texas Brigade.
When Colonel Wigfall came to Virginia he was actually Colonel of the then 2nd Texas. When Texas regiments were being formed, Colonel Wigfall’s regiment was the 2nd regiment formed and mustered for duty in Texas. Because of his political aspirations, connections and bravado, Colonel Wigfall successfully lobbied to have his 2nd Texas re-designated as the 1st Texas (and thus, the 1st Texas became the 2nd Texas) indicating that he refused to lead the 2nd regiment formed of Texas volunteers. It would all be for naught, in February 1862, Brig Gen Louis T. Wigfall would relinquish his post as commander of The Texas Brigade and take his post as Senator from Texas in the Confederate Congress. His eventual resignation would lead to the promotion of the next senior Colonel in the Brigade, John Bell Hood of 4th Texas. With Hood’s promotion to Brigadier General, The Texas Brigade would forever be referred to as Hood’s Texas Brigade and their reputation would be won, proven and solidified at such places as Eltham’s Landing, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, The Wilderness.
Brent Reidenbach is a Reenactor/Living Historian – aka John A. Jolly – Co G, 5th Texas, Hood’s Texas Brigade. Brent will be appearing at the Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries, VA, from 10am – 5pm this coming weekend, November 3. Learn more about Brent’s research by visiting his website.