1st Sergeant, Co. D., 27th Texas Calvary C.S.A.

(1st Texas Legion, Commanded by Whitfield)

20 August 1836 - 24 September 1922

A Texas Pioneer and Confederate Veteran


James A. McBride II

Houston, Texas

On September 25, 1922, a young soldier of World War I stood facing the sunset and sounded the plaintive call of "TAPS" above the flower covered mound which contained all that was mortal of Wright McBride in the Nursery Cemetery, a few miles from Victoria, Texas.

Wright McBride is the grandson of James McBride, The American Revolutionary patriot and soldier born August 17, 1756, at St. James-Goose Creek Parish (Charleston) South Carolina and died June 11, 1808. James served as a Private from November 4, 1775 to August 4, 1778 in the 1st South Carolina Regiment commanded by Colonel Pinckney.

Wright's parents, Andrew McBride (a son of James McBride) was born on August 24, 1805, and his mother Ann Easterling, born June 4, 1810. Both parents born and married in South Carolina on September 7, 1826 in St. James Goose Creek Parish, Berkley County, South Carolina. Andrew and Ann, with other family members and friends, including the Brown family, migrated to Brandon, Mississippi in Rankin County near Jackson, Mississippi between May 1834 and August, 1836.

Wright was born August 20, 1836, in Brandon, Mississippi and at the age of 19 married Ann Williams Brown age 16, whom was born June 24, 1840, also from Brandon. The couple were born, reared, and married in the same neighborhood of Brandon, Mississippi on November 18, 1855.

On the third day following their marriage November 21, 1855, they began their honeymoon trip which was spent in an ox wagon traveling the long road from Jackson, Mississippi to DeWitt County, Texas. This migration group included W. B. Rhodes who was married to Ann Williams Brown's sister, Laura Brown (Rhodes), and Robert D. Brown; Ann's uncle who later married Wright's sister, Mary Eran McBride during the Civil War on November 22, 1863, in Brandon, Mississippi. Together with other family members and friends they began their migration journey to Texas.

Their destination point was the Rhodes/Easterling/Brown Settlement on Elm Creek in Karnes County, previously founded in the year of 1854. Ann and Wright arrived to the settlement in January 1856, with the ox team and wagon.

In the fall of 1856, Ann and Wright relocated to the Rankin Settlement on Colette Creek where their first child, a daughter named Tennessee Ellen, was born on November 11, 1856 at the home of Ann's Uncle Gibby Neal.

The year of 1857 was a very dry year and crops were a failure. "In September 1857, the grasshoppers appeared in great swarms that you could hardly see the sky. The grasshoppers laid their eggs in the spring of 1858 and rain fell in an abundance and crops were good; however, the grasshoppers had begun to hatch in February and by May the grasshoppers were full grown and in May 1858 began to eat the crops as they flew from west to east."

Due to the crop devastation by the grasshoppers the Easterlings and Rhodes moved from Karnes County to Lavaca County on Little Rocky Creek near Hackberry, approximately 15 miles from Halletsville. On June 8, 1858, Ann and Wright also decided to relocate from DeWitte County to be near their relatives and so they also settled south of Hackberry and on December 6, 1858, their second daughter Nancy Luticia was born.

By 1861 the Civil War was eminent and the secession of Texas was underway by March 2, 1861. The Easterling family members, the Rhodes family members, and McBride's whom had migrated together from South Carolina to Mississippi, were now migrating as their descendants from these families from South Carolina, including the Brown family members, also from South Carolina to Mississippi to Texas. Ann Williams Brown, sister Charlotte Virginia Brown was married to Joel Rhodes and Laura Brown was married to W. B. Rhodes. William Green Chapman was married to Ann's first cousin Kitty Brown and they also had one child. So we observe that these men, all in-laws and descendants from South Carolina migrated to Mississippi and now their descendants migrating to Texas and in particular Lavaca County composed a great number of the men whom originally enlisted in the first Texas Legion, Company D, to join up together to help save the cause of the South.

There were also three Brown boys: James C., James H., and Samuel. There were seven Rhodes boys: Charles, Daniel W., David J., John G., John P., Thomas J. and William B. All were members of Co. D, 27th Texas Calvary, organized in Halletsville, Texas August 24, 1861, as Whitfield's Rifles.

This Company was organized by John W. Whitfield, whom was the second person in Lavaca County to organize a Company for combat duty. A barbecue was held on the Lavaca River below Petersville. Whitfield with his fire brand speeches was able to stir his audience into action. By the end of August 1861, he had enrolled 80 men and 4 officers. In May 1861 the County Commissioners Court had appropriated $1,500 to purchase rifles and equipment for the men. Captain William Wallace Townsend began his war career when they rode out of Halletsville with their own outfit with wagons, teams and quartermaster supplies.

Wright McBride officially enlisted in the 27th Calvary of Texas on January 1, 1862. When they were pressed into the service of the Confederate Army, they had been joined by units until their strength had reached a total of 339 men.

The camps and stations of Whitfields Rifles are reflected in official registers and reports as follows: November 12, 1861 to December 31, 1861, Camp Dean, Indian Station; Ann and Wright McBride's first son William was born November 12, 1861 (this is probably why Wright enlisted January 1, 1862); January, February and March 1862 Camp Parks, Arkansas. Shortly after it's organization, the 27th Texas Cavalry was dismounted and sent with other units of General Van Dorn's Army to reinforce General P.G.T. Beauregard at Corinth, Mississippi. At this time the regimental strength was 1,007 men. Other camps and stations were: May and June, 1862, Priceville, Mississippi, (it was the month of June 1862, that Joel Rhodes was listed on the death list); July and August, 1862, Saltillo, Mississippi; September and October 1862, Camp Rogers, Mississippi where the Regiment was remounted. It was in this particular time frame October 5, 1862, when Wright McBride was captured at the Davis Bridge on the Hatchie River Crossing in Tennessee. Wright was paroled eight days later on October 13th for an exchange of prisoners of war with union troops on a transfer list dated October 13th. Headquarters 2nd Division Department of War Tennessee. November and December 1862 Camp Boggess, Mississippi; March and April 1863, Spring Hill, Tennessee; May and June 1863 from Bolton's Depot, Mississippi, a march of 400 miles. During this period of time Wright's first son William was born and died in Texas at age 1 1/2 years old on June 11, 1863. July and August 1863, Vernon Madison County, Mississippi; and from there to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Wright McBride served in the Confederate Army from 1861 to 1865 in the first Texas Legion, Co. D., which was a mounted infantry and the Texas 27th Cavalry. At one strenuous time his horse was not unsaddled except to adjust the saddle blanket for ninety two days and both riders and horses went for days without anything to eat. At one place through which they rode the loyal southern women prepared a basket of dinner for the hungry men. They had no time to stop to eat, but the women held up their baskets of bread, meat, and such little luxuries as their ingenuity could provide by the roadside and each man reached into the basket and took out whatever they could carry, eating as he rode.

Like all Calvary units of the time the 27th Texas Calvary was employed in many diverse military tactics and maneuvers. At Iuka, Mississippi and at Thompson's Station, Tennessee, it was dismounted and fought as infantry. Its principal deployment was as a mounted force; as such it was sent into skirmishes to flank the enemy, or it was utilized to cover the retreat of its own forces. More often it was used as a striking force, harassing the enemy where it could by cutting communications, destroying rail lines, and raiding supply depots.

The main organization of the 27th Texas Calvary under the command of Whitfield was organized during the spring of 1862 using Captain John Whitfield's 4th Texas Calvary Battalion from Lavaca County as its nucleus of companies A through D.

The principal engagements of the 27th Texas Calvary under the command of Whitfield were Iuka, Mississippi, September 19, 1862; Davis Bridge on the Hatchie River in Tennessee, October 5, 1862, where Wright McBride was captured and released October 13, 1862; Holly Springs, Mississippi, December 21, 1862; Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 5, 1863; and Carter's Creek near Franklin, Tennessee, 1863. At Iuka, the Legion was exposed to a gailling fire from Federal troops which was so terrific it threatened to wipe out the Legion until the artillery was silenced and captured and the enemy driven into retreat by the Legion. The conduct of the Legion in this engagement "won under their gallant leader a reputation for dashing boldness and steady courage which placed them side by side with the bravest and best." In the battle of Corinth, in Mississippi on October 3-4, 1862, Whitfield was made a General. In 1863 and 1864 the 27th Texas Calvary Regiment participated in the major military campaign engaged in by the Army of Tennessee during 1863 and 1864. Wright McBride earned the rank of First Sergeant in May 1864. The 27th Texas Calvary participated in more than 75 various types of engagements, the most notably being the siege of Atlanta, Georgia from July 23, 1864 through August 25, 1864.

The final surrender of the 27th Texas Calvary C.S.A. occurred in Cintronelle, Alabama on May 4, 1865 under the command of Lieutenant General Richard Taylor. After Whitfield was made a General he remained in Mississippi in service until the collapse of the rebel forces. Whitfield never formally surrendered but was paroled at Columbus, Texas June 29, 1865. Wright McBride was paroled July 10, 1865 at Columbus, Texas.

Wright had two brothers named William and Abel whom had remained with his parents Andrew and Ann in Brandon, Mississippi before the Civil War, and a third brother named Matthew whom had migrated to Texas about 1858. Matthew was born in Brandon, Mississippi, May 19, 1840, and never fought in the Civil War but remained in the Hackberry and Halletsville area in Texas until after the Civil War. He then relocated to Robertson County, Texas, after the Civil War.

William McBride born May 27, 1838 in Brandon Mississippi enlisted into the Mississippi 39thRegiment of volunteers and died in his hometown in Brandon Hospital on September 6, 1863, at the age of 25. General W. B. Shelby also of Brandon had been elected to lead the 39th Regiment.

Able McBride born April 10, 1843, and had joined the Mississippi 6th Volunteers at age 19, known as the "The Bloody Sixth" died in the Nashville Hospital in Tennessee at age 20 on January 7, 1863, which was also under the command of General W. B. Shelby.

Wright McBride's parole in Columbus, Texas occurred July 10, 1865, just before his 29th birthday. He returned to Hackberry, Texas, resumed farming with his dedication to the Methodist church. Two weeks before Wright's birthday a daughter, Alice Victoria was born on August 6, 1865, to Ann and Wright. Another son by the name of Webster was born on June 9, 1868, however passed away as an infant after living only two months. The first surviving son born, named Hiram Albertus, was born on June 1, 1869, whom is my grandfather. At this time Wright was 33 and Ann 29. Ann continued to bear surviving children for the next 14 years after Hiram's birth. The two youngest brothers of Hiram migrated together to Southern California in the early 1900's. Henry Wright was born May 23, 1872, Walton Andrew was born November 31, 1875, Cora Virginia was born September 29, 1878, and Clara Agatha was born May 11, 1882, whom was the first person in the McBride family to obtain a college degree.

In 1880 Ann and Wright sold their farm of 24 years to A. E. Hackberry and moved 15 miles west of Hackberry and north of Breslow on the Shadoin League. Eleven years later in 1891 Ann and Wright sold their farm again to James Halbut and leased property on Big Rocky Creek which produced a good crop. However on May 16, 1891 flooding of the Big Rocky Creek wiped out bridges, railroads and crops.

In the fall of 1891, the Wright McBride family of seven children moved to Nursery, Texas 15 miles from Victoria in Victoria County, Texas. Wright McBride continued to farm for another fourteen years until 1905. From 1905 to 1913, Wright was the mail carrier by horse and buggy on the Star Route from Nursery to Mission Valley. Only once during his eight years of service was Wright prevented from delivering the mail due to high flood waters. The records of this account was obtained from the McBride Family Bible of Phillip McBride of South Carolina which was one hundred seventy years old at the time it was destroyed by a kitchen fire in 1924 with the loss of life, his wife, Ann Williams Brown McBride. Wright passed on September 24, 1922 in Nursery, Texas, at the age of 86, due to natural causes. All his life he was a conscientious Christian and an active member of the Methodist Church. Until deafness made it impossible, he was a teacher in Sunday School and an active leader in prayer meetings, and all other religious activities. His large family grew into manhood, and womanhood blessed by the presence of the family altar in the home. A source of great pride and satisfaction was to have the family bible in his possession which had been in his family for 170 years from his great great grandfather Phillip McBride of St. James Goose Creek Parish Charleston, South Carolina until Wright's death.

The bible was destroyed by fire when a kitchen fire broke out which caused the loss of life of his wife Ann Williams Brown, January 21, 1924.

Wright had been in ill health for many months, was almost deaf and blind, but his mind was like a clear day to the end of his long life, and he kept up his interest in worldwide events. He went willingly to his reward -- the reward of a life well lived in the services of his country, his family and his fellowmen, and an honored citizen of Texas for 66 years.

Ten children were born into the pioneer home, two of whom died in infancy. The other eight children including their mother were all present and accounted for at "Taps", six from Texas, and two from California (Baldwin Park and Imperial Valley).

The patriotism of the Wright McBride family's descendants continued through the conclusion of WWII surrender by the Japanese in 1945 as follows:

First Grandson John Walton McBride, born April 15, 1894. Served in the 141st Texas Infantry Division. Died in WWI while in service on August 9, 1919. He was the first volunteer from Fayette County, Texas whom enlisted in La Grange, Texas as a Private and earned the rank of Corporal at the time of his death. John Walton died from pneumonia after being gassed at the battle of St. Mihiel France and never fully recovered. The American Legion, McBride Post 143 of Schulenberg, Texas is named in the honor of John Walton McBride. Wright McBride lived long enough to know that the family name was honored as the American Legion Post 143.

Second Grandson Spencer W. McBride, of California, served as a pilot in the Navy during WWI and died in the Naval Hospital, March 8, 1920.

Third Grandson James A. McBride, born December 5, 1908 of Texas and the second person in the McBride family to obtain a college degree. Honorably discharged in 1944 for medical reasons. He was also a superintendent of schools in Marion, Texas for 5 years, whom is my father.

Fourth Grandson Woodrow Wilson McBride of California, born July 18, 1915 and served in the U. S. Infantry during World War II in the Pacific. Woodrow Wilson was captured by the Japanese during the Battle of Corregidor and survived the Bataan Death March. He was sent to a prisoner of war camp in Japan where he worked in the steel mills until he was freed September 13, 1945, weighing 80 pounds by an American Repatriation team.

Woodrow Wilson McBride wrote a personal history of his experience before, during and after his experience as a prisoner of war in a Japanese prison camp in Japan.

Fifth Grandson Robert "Bobby" McBride, born 1920. Navy pilot. Died in WWII over the Pacific Ocean.

The biographical account of the Wright McBride family of war participants during World Wars I and II is to exemplify the family patriotism from the American Revolution with the Civil War as a pivot point of honor and loyalty. There were grandsons of Ann and Wright McBride whom fought in both World War I and World War II from the same parental family entity of sons born to Ann and Wright McBride which consisted of the Hiram Albertus McBride family, the Henry Wright McBride family and the Walton Andrew McBride family. This was due to the large families of ten or more children which extended itself over a period of 30 years which covered two world wars.

Sources of information from descendants of the Ann and Wright McBride Family:

Copy of Wright McBride Family History Bible, 250 years old of Phillip McBride.

Family tree prepared by Una Wilbourne Kelly and Martha Wilbourne Wynne, daughter of the American Revolution for Daughters of the American Revolution.

Letters from Elsie Smothers, descendant of the Brown/Rhodes/McBride marriages.

Family tree information from LeAnne VanDyke Wildin, great granddaughter of Henry Wright McBride, and daughter of Margaret Lenz VanDyke, Daughter of American Revolution, Daughter of the Confederacy, and daughter of the Republic of Texas. Katie, daughter of Hiram McBride and Dee McBride American Legion Post No. 143, Schulenberg, Texas.

Family Tree information from Terry Wilcoxson and copy of story from Woodrow Wilson McBride of Walton A. McBride.

Family Tree information from Colleen Chisum and Celeste Haworthklee.

Descendants of Henry Wright McBride.

Family tree information from James A. McBride, II, descendant of Hiram A. McBride and James A. McBride.

Confederate records of the Texas 27th Calvary C.S.A. prepared by Ron Brothers

Houston Post Newspaper Eulogy September 25, 1922.

©Ron Brothers and James A. McBride II, All Rights Reserved, 2000

December 4, 2000

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