The 9th Texas Infantry Regiment was organized from companies raised in Northeast Texas on
November 4, 1861. They were mustered-in to Confederate service on December 1, 1861, under
Colonel Sam Bell Maxey of Paris, Texas. Col. Maxey was a graduate of West Point, and had been
given authority by the War Department of the Confederate States to raise an infantry regiment for
service in the west. The other original field officers of the 9th Texas were William E. Beeson, Lt.
Colonel, and Wright A. Stanley, as Major. The 9th Texas has the distinction of having served in
the Army of the Mississippi/Army of Tennessee longer than any other Texas regiment.
The initial organization of the 9th Texas:
Company A, Lamar County - Capt. E. J. Shelton
Company B, Red River County - Capt. Smith Ragsdale
Company C, Grayson County - Capt. William Hugh Young
Company D, Titus County -Capt. James H. McReynolds
Company E, Lamar County - Capt. James Hill
Company F, Hopkins County - Capt. James A. Leftwich
Company G, Hopkins County - Capt. Joseph A. Moore
Company H, Fannin County - Capt. Harvey Wise
Company I, Collin County - Capt. J. J. Dickson
Company K, Lamar County - Capt. Miles A. Dillard
Shortly after the organization, measles and pneumonia broke out in the regiment. Due to the
sickness and the poor quality of the water at Camp Rusk, Lamar County, Colonel Maxey had to
move the 9th Texas to Camp Benjamin, in Fannin County, about 26 miles distant. Despite the
sickness, Maxey noted that "no pains have been spared to drill and discipline the Reg't. which on
both will compare favorably with any in the service at [this] time."
On January 1, 1862, the regiment took up the line of march to Memphis. By January 25, they had
arrived at Little Rock, where it was noted, "the health of the command in consequence of the long
winter march has not improved since the last report."
By February 18, 1862, the regiment had arrived at Iuka, and had begun to look and feel like
soldiers. On the previous day, Lt. Col. Beeson received a a much-needed requisition of 788
knapsacks, 500 haversacks, and 450 canteens. At Iuka, the men became engaged in building
winter quarters, drill, and flooring the new commissary. However, their stay at Iuka would not be
On March 4, 1862, Col. Maxey received a promotion to Brigadier General in the Provisional
Army of the Confederate States of America. Maxey's promotion, no doubt, was due to his
professional training at West Point. His expertise would be needed in drilling and organizing the
thousands of recruits pouring into Mississippi from throughout the South. Major Stanley was
promoted to fill the vacancy of Colonel, and James Burnett was promoted to the rank of Major.
Regarding Stanley's promotion to Colonel, Thomas H. Skidmore, later quartermaster of the
regiment, said the following: "Major Stanley was elected Col. of the regiment, but the boys so
nearly plaged him out of his life, that he would not have them." Stanley would command the
regiment for only two months.
On March 19, the regiment left Iuka by rail and arrived at Corinth the next day. Here, they were
placed in a camp about one mile east of town, well-situated near good water and on a level area
with good drainage. However, on the 26th they were ordered to another camp one mile west of
town, where it was noted "the water is very bad, the ground low and swampy. Health of the
command during the month very bad, the average loss from disease being at the rate of 2 men per
day since the first day of the month."
In a letter to his wife Susan, dated March 27, private Jesse P. Bates of Company G wrote "there is
about 100,000 men here and near here. We are expecting a battle here every day. He further
noted that "our regiment is still in bad health." Due to the terrible sickness at Corinth, Colonel
Stanley noted "it is impossible to pay attention to battalion and company drills necessary to secure
efficiency and good discipline therefore the military appearance and discipline of the regiment are
When able to drill, the 9th Texas probably presented a martial, if not uniform, impression. The regiment was armed with a variety of small-arms, including "double-barreled shot-guns, sportsman's rifles, and muskets, many of them in bad order." Sick, poorly drilled and without reliable weapons, the 9th Texas was about to face the dreaded foe for the first time.
On March 26, at Corinth, the 9th Texas was placed in J. Patton Anderson's brigade, Ruggles'
division, Bragg's II Corps. The other units in Anderson's brigade were the 1st Florida Battalion,
the 17th Louisiana Infantry, 20th Louisiana Infantry, the Confederate Guards Response Battalion,
and the 5th Company, Washington (La.) Artillery. Due to sickness and the detachment of two
companies, the 9th carried only 226 officers and men into the fight. Being in Bragg's Corps, the
9th Texas was in a line 500 yards to the rear of Hardee's Corps on April, 6, 1862. Hardee's men
attacked about 5:00 AM.
Colonel Stanley noted in his official report that "On the morning of the 6th we advanced in line of
battle under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry from the enemy's first encampment. Being
ordered to charge the battery with our bayonets, we made two successive attempts; but finding, as
well as our comrades in arms on our right and left, it almost impossible to withstand the heavy fire
directed at our ranks, we were compelled to withdraw for a short time, with considerable loss."
He noted that the Washington Artillery, with a well-directed fire, soon silenced the enemies
batteries, whereupon the 9th Texas "immediately charged, routing the enemy from their first
encampment, and continued a forward, double-quick march until we passed through two other
encampments of the enemy, where we found our troops again heavily engaged with a second
battery and its' supports, to the galling fire of which my regiment was openly exposed."
It was here that Colonel Stanley's horse was shot from underneath him, and several men were
killed and wounded. The 9th stubbornly charged, and drove the Federals from the battery, "killing
a number and pursuing the remainder a considerable distance." After replenishing their
ammunition, the 9th Texas was ordered in the direction of the Tennessee River. At this point, they
began taking fire from the gunboats on the Tennessee, and night put a close to the contest.
The Union army had been battered, but not broken. Stephen Tanner, of Company A, noted the capture of Prentiss' Union division, which had occured earlier that day: "We met General Prentice's 3,000 captured Union soldiers, all uniformed in blue and I think the finest looking body of men I ever saw." Tanner also noted other casualties of war: "The dead lay upon the field of strife. The wounded filled the hospital and all the tents and scores upon scores lay stretched upon the bare ground with up-turned faces, the rain coming in a steady pour."
On the morning of the 7th, the Union army, reinforced during the night by Buell's command,
commenced the attack. The 9th Texas opened the day as skirmishers and supporting a battery of
artillery. The battle ended, with Grant and Buell in basically the same positions that Grant's army
held on the morning of April 6. The loss to the regiment was 14 killed, 42 wounded, and 11
missing. Capt. Dickson and Lt. Hamil were among the killed, and Capt. Moore died of his wound
on April 11, 1862.
Following the battle, the 9th retreated to Corinth, Mississippi, along with the rest of the army.
Here, they were reorganized on May 8, 1862, in obedience to the new Conscription Act passed by
the Confederate Congress. All men between the ages of 18 to 35 were subject to military duty,
and all those under 18 or over 35 were discharged from the service. There were certain
exemptions, however. If a man owned 20 or more negroes, or if he paid another man to substitute
for him, for example, he could be exempted from serving in the army. Officers were allowed to
resign their commissions and return home, if they were able to obtain a disability discharge. These
exemptions produced much dissatisfaction in the enlisted ranks, who thereafter believed the war
to be "A rich man's war and a poor man's fight." Desertions were numerous at this time in all of
the armies of the Confederacy, and in the ranks of the 9th Texas. Also, the men were allowed to
elect their own officers, and the leadership of the 9th Texas changed dramatically.
Regimental reorganization, May 8, 1862:
Company A, Capt. W. H. H. Long
Company B, Capt. J. M. Kennedy
Company C, Capt. L. F. Ely
Company D, Capt. James H. McReynolds
Company E, Capt. J. W. Moore
Company F, Capt. W. G. Brown
Company G, Capt. Joslin Hopkins
Company H, Capt. J. G. Lane
Company I, Capt. W. R. Bellew
Company K, Capt. J. H. L. Bray
The new field officers of the 9th Texas were Colonel William Hugh Young; Lt. Col. Miles A.
Dillard; and Major James Burnett. Young, only 24 years old, would lead the regiment for the next
two years. Dillard, of Company K, was a veteran of the war with Mexico. Burnett would soon be
detached from the regiment to form the 1st Texas Sharpshooter Battalion, which would serve in
Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Indian Nations.
The 9th Texas remained at Camp Texas, near Tupelo, for the months of May to July, 1862.
Young noted the condition of the regiment at this time: "Arms of the reg't. in good order, health
improving, and discipline good." Writing to his wife at about the same time, Jesse Bates, now 1st
Lt. of Company G, stated "the health of the regiment is better than it has been for a long time."
Writing again on July 11, Bates adressed some of the recent rumors about a forward movement
by the army: "We expect to leave here in a few days, but we don't know where we are
going-some think that we will go into Tennessee."
The rumor mill had been correct. In July, 1862, the 9th Texas traveled by train and steamer to
Chattanooga, where it went into camp just above Bridgeport on the Tennessee River. The army,
now under the command of Braxton Bragg, proceeded on its' march into Kentucky.
Arming the soldiers of the Confederacy had been a problem early in the war, as officers relied on
their own purchasing power, or weapons the men brought into service. This was an ordnance
officer's nightmare, as procuring the ammunition to use in these varied firearms would be
extremely difficult. On August 15, 1862, Ordnance Sgt. Ben R. Milam sent in a requisition for
400 Enfield Rifles, noting that the regiment had only 25 of these rifles at the time. He expressed
his opinion of the prevalent weapon in the regiment, the smoothbore: "Much benefit will accrue to
the service by putting in the hands [of the men] superior rifles, instead of the very inferior guns
they now have." The 9th did not receive the much-desired English manufacture weapon, but did
receive some new arms. On September 19, Col. Young's requisition of 360 Belgian rifles was
The 9th Texas, now in Cheatham's Tennessee Division, was present at the battle of Perryville,
fought on October 6, 1862. The battle raged furiously, and was fought by about 15,0000
Confederates against the larger part of the Federal army. Bragg's command fought well, and held
its' own against the much larger force. The 9th Texas was not directly involved in the fight. The
lone casualty of the regiment was Captain John Lane of Company G, who was killed by artillery
Following the battle of Perryville, Bragg retreated back through Cumberland Gap into Tennessee, where his army encamped near Tullahoma, Tennessee. They would not remain inactive. Bates noted on November 28 that, "we come here 2 weeks ago from Tullahoma. There is but 2 regiments here and I expect that our regiment will stay here all winter." Bates also noted that the men were subsisting on meat and bread, which was augmented occasionally by potatoes and dried fruit that they could buy from the commissary.
Vaughan's Brigade, Col. A.J. Vaughan
12th, 13th, 29th, 47th, 154th Tennessee Infantry Regiments; Allin's Sharpshooters; Scott's
Tennessee Battery; 9th Texas Infantry.
On December 31, 1862, Bragg's Army of Tennessee surprised Major General William S.
Rosecrans Army of the Cumberland in his camps near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In hard fighting,
Bragg's men drove the Union army several miles before finally being halted. The 9th Texas,
fighting in Vaughan's Brigade of Cheatham's Tennessee Division (the 9th Texas was the only
non-Tennessee regiment in the division), participated in the attack which drove the Union army
from the field. Lt. Col. Dillard and eight other members of the regiment were named to the
Confederate Roll of Honor for their conduct in the battle. The price was heavy: of the 323 officers
and men the 9th Texas took into battle, 18 were listed as killed, 102 wounded (including Col.
Young), and 2 captured or missing. The 9th Texas would never again have more than 200 men
able for duty in any battle, after their severe blood-letting at Mufreesboro.
Regarding their participation in the battle, Quartermaster Thomas H. Skidmore wrote "Gen. Cheatham rode up to Col. Dillard and ordered him with the regiment to take a battery which was being planted on a hill not far distant. Col. D. expostulated and said there was not a cartridge in his reg't., to which Gen. C. responded with his characteristic oath and style that it made no difference as the reg't. would take it with Barlow knives if the order was given and to charge with fixed bayonets. The order to charge was given and the battery brought in."
Lt. Col. Miles Dillard wrote the Clarksville Standard about the 9th's participation in the battle: "The boys of the old Ninth Texas can never be too highly appreciated for their cool and undaunted bravery on the bloody battlefield of Mufreesboro, for never did soldiers acquit themselves with more honor than they did on that day."
Praise came from high-ranking officers outside the regiment, as well. General Cheatham spoke
very highly of Col. Young and the men of the 9th Texas. He noted in his official report, "The 9th
Texas Regiment, under the command of that gallant officer, Col. W.H. Young, who did not hear
the order [to withdraw] became detached and was farther to the left. It remained in the woods and
continued to fight the enemy, and at last charged them on their flank and drove them from the
woods on their entire right, losing very heavily."
Col. Young was shot in the shoulder and had two horses shot from under him during the battle.
At the critical juncture of the battle, it appears he was on foot and leading his men in the charge.
At some point, Lt. Col. Dillard took command.
Fighting almost alone and surrounded, the 9th became separated from the other regiments in the
army. Finding his little regiment penned down by artillery fire, and having lost 100 of his men in a
matter of minutes, Young unsheathed his sword and brandished the regimental colors, and called
for an attack, driving the blue-clad attackers from their positions.
Solomon Dobson of the 9th Texas, writing years after the battle, stated that the regiment was in some peril, as after the successful charge, "we were saved by a Mississippi regiment coming up in our rear."
Stated Colonel Vaughan in his official report of the battle, "Colonel Young seized the colors of
his regiment in one of its' most gallant charges and led it through." Writing years after the war, Lt.
Col. Dillard stated that following the charge, "General Cheatham was eulogizing the boys, and
someone remarked, `General, you must think you have some troops.' He replied, if I had 50,000
such men, I could whip the whole Federal army."
The battle of December 31st was a success for the Army of Tennessee, however, Bragg was
repulsed on January 2, 1863, when he ordered a suicidal charge by Breckinridge's Division against
the Union right. The attack failed, and Bragg ordered a retreat. Vaughan's Brigade, including the
9th Texas, suffered the second-highest number of casualties of any brigade in the army at
Mufreesboro, next to J. Patton Anderson's brigade.
The army retreated back to Shelbyville, Tennessee, and here Bragg's battered but unbeaten army
went into camp. On January 21, 1863, the 9th Texas was placed in Ector's Texas Brigade, which
at that time contained the 10th, 14th, and 32d Texas Cavalry Regiments, dismounted. The 9th
Texas would remain in this organization for the remainder of the war.
The 9th stayed in or around Shelbyville, until May, 1863, when ordered to proceed by rail to
Jackson, Mississippi, where Gen. Joseph E. Johnston was trying to build a force to end the siege
of Vicksburg. Following the surrender of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, Johnston's small command
fell back to Morton, Mississippi. The 9th Texas participated in Sherman's investment of Jackson,
and fought there in a small engagement on July 16, 1863.
In late August, the small, two-brigade division of Brig. Gen. States Rights Gist was ordered to
Chickamauga, where the Confederacy was mounting a major offensive against William Rosecrans'
Army of the Cumberland. Gist's division contained a Georgia brigade under Claudius Wilson, and
Ector's Texas brigade, which had been augmented with the 29th North Carolina and two
battalions of infantry, one from Mississippi, and the other from Alabama.
On September 19, 1863, Gist's division, under the temporary field command of Nathan Bedford
Forrest, opened the battle of Chickamauga. Lt. Stephen Tanner, of Company A, noted that of the
picket line of the 9th Texas, all but himself were captured. Included in those taken prisoner was
2d Lt. George W. Bedford, of Company K. Bedford, of Paris, would become a doctor after the
war, and would live to the ripe old age of 79, but for the present time was worried about staying
alive. Dr. Bedford sat out the remainder of the war at Camp Douglas, Illinois-an excruciatingly
slow 20 months!
Ector's brigade, including the 9th Texas, was ordered to charge a battery of artillery, which was
taken. Two fresh divisions of Yankees counterattacked, forcing Gist to leave the field, with his
reduced division, now numbering about 1,000. The Georgians and Texans were forced to leave
the field for the day, leaving many of the wounded behind on the field of battle. As at
Mufreesboro, the 9th Texas assisted in the capture of artillery, but once again, their losses had
been frightful. The 9th only had 145 men in the assault, and of that number 6 were killed, 36
wounded and 18 captured or missing, for a loss of 41.4% of those troops engaged. Included in
the losses were Col. William Hugh Young, who suffered a serious chest wound. Overall, the
brigade suffered losses of over 40%. On the following day, Ector's brigade, numbering only about
500 effectives after their heavy losses of the previous day, took the field and assisted Southern
forces in routing the Union army, which retreated all the way back to Chattanooga.
Regarding the part played by Ector's Brigade in the battle, Major Gen. W.H.T. Walker,
commanding the Reserve Corps, Army of Tennessee, stated: "General Ector is absent, his brigade
having been ordered to Mississippi, and I have no report from him, but his brigade acted with the
greatest gallantry." Regarding Gen. Ector himself, Walker stated, "To the division and brigade
commanders-...I have only to say that the brigadier-generals fought with a gallantry that entitles
them to division commands." General Gist, commanding Walker's division, noted Ector's and
Wilson's "judicious and efficient support."
Following the battle of Chickamauga, Ector's men were sent to Jackson, where they remained
briefly until being ordered to proceed to Meridian, Brandon, and Lauderdale Springs, Mississippi.
Here, the 9th Texas spent the next seven months, resting and refitting for the tough campaign of
1864. Ector's brigade was reassigned to Polk's Corps and the division of Samuel G. French, a
West Pointer and New Jerseyian by birth. French had two other brigades assigned to his division,
a Missouri brigade under Francis Marion Cockrell and a Mississippi brigade under Claudius W.
Sears. Both brigades had been captured, and later exchanged, at Vicksburg.
The Atlanta Campaign
In February, 1864, Polk's Corps had a grand review at Demopolis, Alabama. at the review,
Loring's Division, resplendent in new uniforms and flags passed, followed by Cockrell's and Sears'
brigades. Bringing up the rear were `Ector's Chubs', as the Texans were called. Clean but ragged,
and bearing their old worn-out and shot-torn colors of earlier campaigns, one female observer
noted, "Ha! Look at that old tattered rag that regiment carries for a banner! Would you not be
ashamed to follow it?"
Thomas H. Skidmore, quartermaster of the 9th Texas, noted that the flag was borne aloft by
Festus O. Conner, as it had been since Shiloh. Conner led the regiment, followed by Skidmore and
Lt. Col. Dillard, then commanding the regiment, who were on horseback. Skidmore retorted to
the woman, "That wherever the beautiful colors that had gone before [Ed. Note: Skidmore stated
that 3 stands of colors had already been shot to tatters during the war] could tell the same tale of
blood and carnage and all that goes to prove the noble and daring of its' followers. Then will these
followers be more proud of them than today."
As they passed Gen. Polk and his staff, Skidmore stated, the Texans "Yelled loudly as any
Texians ever yelled, he [Polk] raised his cap and yelled as lustily as any of them." Skidmore then
turned to the woman, and stated, "General Polk has not treated any other banner with a tenth of
respect that he has given that `old tattered rag.'" He made no further comment regarding the
woman's feeling towards the flag of the 9th Texas, but she must have felt a deeper appreciation
for it and those who had died on the field of battle defending the flag and the Southern
It should also be noted that of the three men leading the regiment in the review, Lt. Col. Dillard had been born in Illinois; Quartermaster Skidmore was born in Cadiz, Ohio; and Festus Connor had been born in Indiana.
After the review, the 9th Texas remained in or near Demopolis until being ordered to Georgia in
April, 1864, to oppose Sherman's move upon Atlanta. On April 6, 1864, 1st Lt. Bates noted a
significant event in the history of the 9th Texas: "The boys has all reinlisted and in good spirits."
After almost three years of warfare, poor food, irregular pay, and camp life, the 9th Texas
declared their almost unanimous assent and reinlisted to serve in the Confederate army for as long
as the war would last. Doubtless, they realized that the following months would be bloody, and
the 9th would sacrifice many more men in their fight for Southern independence.
Organization of the 9th Texas, April 5, 1864:
Field & Staff:
Col. Young, absent, ordered to Richmond
Lt. Col. Miles A. Dillard, present
Acting Major James H. McReynolds, present
A, Capt. W. H. H. Long, present
B, Capt. J. M. Kennedy (absent conscript duty); 1st Lt. G. W.Thompson
C, Capt. L. F. Ely, present
D, 1st Lt. T. J. Van Noy, present & commanding company
E, Capt. J. W. Moore (absent, conscription duty); 1st Lt. T. H. Ligon
G, Capt. Joslin Hopkins (AWOL, Hopkins County); 1st Lt. J. P. Bates
H, Capt. William H. Cobb (recruiting duty in TX); 1st Sgt. E. SDixon
I, Capt. R. Milton Board, present
K, Capt. Dee Ridley, present
The Atlanta Campaign:
French's division, containing Ector's brigade, arrived at Rome, Georgia on May 17, 1864. From
here to the end of the war, their's would be a daily struggle. For over 100 straight days, the
Confederates fighting Sherman were under fire. At places such as Latimer House, New Hope
Church, Kenesaw and Pine Mountain, the 9th Texas would distinguish itself. In late June, Col.
Young suffered yet another battle wound. At Pine Mountain, Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk, was killed,
causing a deep emotional loss to those who had served under the Bishop-General.
The 9th Texas fought at the battle of Atlanta, on July 22, where it lost 9 killed, 9 wounded, and
one man listed as missing. Fighting in the trenches on July 27, Gen. Ector lost a leg from a shell.
Colonel Young of the 9th Texas was then assigned command of the brigade. The 9th Texas
continued the fight, and were among the last Southern troops withdrawn from the doomed city,
which occured on September 1.
After losing Atlanta, the 9th Texas fought at Lovejoy's Station, trying to halt Sherman's march
around the city that threatened Macon and other points south. For the campaign, the 9th Texas
lost 16 killed, 39 wounded, and one man captured. Lts. Carty and Ferrell were both killed during
the campaign. In the fighting around Jonesboro and Lovejoy's, the 9th lost two color bearers:
Ensign Ben Milam, who had only recently been promoted, was shot and disabled, and C.B.
Douglass was mortally wounded. He died in Federal hands later in September.
9th Texas Losses, Atanta Campaign: (As taken from the O.R., Vol. 38, Pt. 3)
Following the loss of Atlanta, Confederate strategy changed. It was determined that an invasion
of Tennessee was in order. French's division was ordered to take the Union supplies and garrison
at Allatoona, near the old battlefields of Marietta and New Hope Church. On October 5, 1864,
Cockrell's brigade attacked the rifle pits and breastworks in the front, and Sears brigade was
ordered to attack from the other side. After taking the first set of works, Cockrell's men were
leap-frogged by Young's Texans and North Carolinians.
The following is the order of battle for Young's Brigade at Allatoona:
(reading left to right)
|29th N.C.||10th TX Cavalry||14th TX Cavalry||9th Texas Infantry|
Regarding the desperate fighting, Cpl. John E. Logsdon of Company C stated, "We went with our
guns loaded, or rather ran, like we were in a foot race, to the edge of the ditch and shot right
down on them, then clubbed our guns and had a regular hand to hand fight."
The fight did not last more than 30 minutes in the trenches until the Federals were forced to their
last, but strongest line of works. The Confederates paused to catch their breath and replenish their
ammunition for the final assault that never materialized. Federal commander John Corse received
word that help from Sherman was on the way, and Confederate cavalry warned French that he
had better pull his men out.
The fight had been a severe one for the 9th Texas. Major McReynolds, commanding the regiment,
was wounded. His official report noted how severely the officers of the 9th Texas suffered in the
short, but desperate, assault: Capt. Jesse Bates, Adjutant Griffin, and Lt. Dixon Wetzel were all
killed, as was Sgt. C.B. Dale. Of 101 men in the regiment who participated in the fight, 43 were
killed or wounded, and two listed as missing. Several other officers were wounded, including
Captains Van Noy of Company D, and Ridley of Company K; and Lts. Agee of Company F and
D. P. Tunnell of Company I.
Brig. Gen. William Hugh Young, formerly of the 9th Texas and now commanding the brigade,
participated in his last battle of the war. He was severely wounded in the foot, which later had to
be amputated, and left to the discretion of the enemy. He was captured a few days later and sent
to Johnson's Island, a P.O.W. camp for officers in Ohio. He would not be released until mid-July,
1865. The brigade was commanded for the remainder of the day by Col. C. R. Earp of the 10th
Young's conduct at the battle did not go unnoticed. In his official report, Gen. French stated,
"Most gallantly he [Young] bore his part in the action. I am indebted to Young for his bravery,
skill, and unflinching firmness."
Ector's Brigade, now under the command of Col. Julius Andrews of the 32d Texas, was nearly
finished as an effective fighting force. The brigade was ordered to guard the pontoon bridges of
the Army of Tennessee when they crossed the river to begin their invasion of Tennessee. They did
not arrive with the army until December 1, the day following the battle of Franklin. Cockrell's and
Sears brigades both participated in the attack, and Cockrell's brigade had lost nearly all of its'
officers and over 60% of its' men. Colonel Andrews was wounded on December 4, and Col.
Coleman, of the 39th North Carolina took command of the brigade as the senior Colonel present.
Now fighting with only about 400 effectives, Ector's men fought at Nashville on December 15 and
16. Ector's brigade was first assigned to picket duty on th Hardin Pike, but by the morning of
December 15 had been placed behind the stone fence along the Hillsborough Pike. Hopelessly
outnumbered and almost surrounded, they were ordered to retreat to avoid capture.
The morning of December the 16th found Ector's brigade face-to-face with the General
Commanding, John Bell Hood, who asked them to go to the right flank and drive back the enemy.
They replied, "We will do it general!" Ector's men, along with Reynolds' Arkansas brigade,
managed to check the victorious Yankees only so long but were not able to drive them back.
Finding themselves almost surrounded, and with the last avenue of retreat about to be snapped
shut, the two, small, beleaguered brigades, were forced to flee back through Franklin and
Columbia to the Tennessee River.
The retreat was not orderly in any way. In the words of Lieutenant General A.P. Stewart, the
corps commander to which Ector's brigade was assigned, "I do not deem it proper to attempt to
decide where the line first yielded. It would seem, however, that when once broken it very soon
gave way everywhere, and the whole army made for the Franklin Pike."
Compliments for the 9th Texas continued, in spite of the rout in Tennessee. Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart, their corps commander, stated regarding the conduct of Ector's brigade at Nashville "I have been told [Ector's brigade] were characterized by the usual intrepidity of this small but firm and reliable body of men." According to the Compiled Service Records, at least 9 men in the regiment were wounded and 16 men were captured during the Tennessee campaign. Doubtless, many more were killed or wounded, but due to incomplete records we do not have an exact casualty figure.
The end was near, but some of the worst fighting of the war was yet to come for the 9th Texas.
French's small division, now roughly only 1,000 men, was sent to defend Mobile, where the 9th
was assigned to the defenses at Spanish Fort. On April 8, Union troops under Gen. E.R.S. Canby,
assaulted the lightly defended forts and lines of earthworks at Spanish Fort and Blakely, and rolled
up the Confederates there. Hundreds were forced to surrender. Many simply fired one or two
volleys, and ran for their lives, hopelessly outnumbered.
According to the Compiled Service Records, at least 14 men in the 9th Texas were wounded and
8 men were captured at Spanish Fort. What remained of the 9th Texas surrendered with the rest
of Ector's Brigade at Meridian, Mississippi on May 4, and were paroled on May 11, 1865, under
the command of Major James McReynolds. At the surrender, the 9th was consolidated into two
companies, under the command of Capt. R. Milton Board of Company I, and Lt. J. Jenkins. There
were just 8 officers and 79 men-a small fraction of the 1,018 men who had served with the 9th at
one time or another.
At the surrender, the regiments there were required to surrender their arms as well as colors. Not
so for the 9th Texas. Years after the war, Cpl. Logsdon noted that "C.P. Mathews cut the flag
from the staff, crammed it into his shirt bosom, and brought it home with him. Charlie has the old
flag yet (1909)." Lt. Jenkins was noted to have retrieved the flag-staff.
There were several notable events after the war that involved former members of the 9th Texas.
Sam Bell Maxey, who rose to the rank of Major General in the Confederate army, became a U.S.
Senator after reconstruction. His service in the Indian Territory came in handy as a U.S. Senator,
as he spent a great deal of his time in the senate on Indian relations. He, along with
ex-Confederate postmaster John Reagan and Roger Quarles Mills, ex-Colonel of the 10th Texas
Infantry, were respected members in the U.S. Senate from the 1870's to the 1890's.
William Hugh Young, minus the foot he lost at Allatoona, became an attorney and practiced law
until his death in San Antonio in 1901. Most of the men returned to their pre-war occupation of
farming to make a living. Captain Board returned to McKinney, Texas, where he remained for the
next 60-plus years of his life, operating his freight and mercantile business. He finally `crossed the
river' on April 10, 1931, at the ripe old age of 93, one of the last of the veterans of the old 9th
Perhaps the last survivor of the old 9th Texas was a man who at one time called Lamar County
home. William H. Wooldridge, who had been born in Illinois in 1840, fought for almost three
years in Company A. He was discharged from the service in March, 1864, and returned home to
Lamar County, where he got into a fight with his brother-in-law, William L. Ferrel, who he shot
and killed in February, 1866. Wooldridge then moved to Stonewall County, where he was a
justice-of-the-peace and later a Stonewall County Commissioner. It is said that in his late 80's, he
married a "mail-order bride", who turned out to be in her late 70's. The marriage did not last long.
Wooldridge wrote in the Paris Press in the early 1930's, pleading with any of his old comrades, if
any were alive, to help him secure a Confederate pension, as his health had failed and he was in
dire straits financially. Wooldridge died on New Year's Day, 1936, at the ripe old age of 95.
The writer continually seeks to add information to this history of the 9th Texas, thereby
perpetuating the deeds of the men of this unit. Please feel free to communicate any information
concerning the regiment or its' members to Tim Bell, 9914 Townridge, Waco, Texas, 76712.
Telephone (254) 399-9419.
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