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WIER, JOSEPH PATTERSON

WIER, JOSEPH PATTERSON (1831–1864). Joseph Patterson Wier, soldier, son of Robert Napolean and Mary Jane (Reid) Wier, was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, in May 1831. The family moved to Noxubee County, Mississippi, in the late 1830s, where Wier grew to adulthood. In 1851 Wier graduated with honors from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and received his law degree there in 1854. He moved to Texas later that year, settling in Hillsboro, and was the first lawyer to practice there. In 1859 Wier established the Hillsboro Express, the first newspaper in Hill County. Wier represented Hill County at the Secession Convention of 1861 in Austin. He raised a cavalry company at Hillsboro, and on October 28, 1861, his unit entered the Confederate Army as Company A, Twelfth Texas Cavalry. He was elected the company's captain. In the spring of 1862 the regiment was sent to Arkansas to aid in the defense of Little Rock. Wier missed the regiment's first engagements, having become very ill, but he was able to return to participate in skirmishes in the fall of 1862. The next spring Wier commanded a detached squadron during William L. Cabell's expedition into northwest Arkansas and participated in the battle of Fayetteville, Arkansas, on April 16, 1863. In July he rejoined the regiment to participate in the raids between Lake Providence and Milken's Bend, Louisiana. During Union Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's Red River campaign in 1864, Wier participated in the attack on the Union gunboats at Blair's Landing on April 19. Lt. Col. A. B. Burleson was wounded in this engagement, and Wier replaced him as commander of the Twelfth Texas. Wier remained brevet colonel of the regiment during much of the pursuit of Banks down the Red River. On May 18, 1864, at the battle of Yellow Bayou, Wier led his regiment in a charge upon the enemy. He was shot through the head and died instantly. His body was buried nearby and the next spring was moved to Covington Cemetery in Hill County. Wier married Charlotte Ann Gathings, daughter of James J. Gathings, in Hill County on November 12, 1858. They had two sons.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Henry L. Ingram, Civil War Letters of George W. and Martha F. Ingram, 1861–1865 (College Station, Texas, 1923). James Verdo Reese, A History of Hill County, Texas, to 1873 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1961).

J. L. Bryan

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

J. L. Bryan, "WIER, JOSEPH PATTERSON," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwitu), accessed September 02, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.