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FOURTH TEXAS ARTILLERY BATTALION

FOURTH TEXAS ARTILLERY BATTALION. Reuss's Indianola Artillery Guard and the Eighth Texas Infantry Batallion consolidated on December 10, 1861, to form the Texas Fourth Artillery Battalion (Shea's Artillery Battalion). The men were primarily from Bexar, Goliad, Guadalupe, Nueces, Refugio, and Victoria counties. Company A was organized by assignment of Shea's Artillery Battery under Capt. Daniel D. Shea and Capt. John A. Vernon, and Company B was organized by assignment of the Indianola Artillery Guards Artillery Battery under Capt. Joseph M. Reuss. Shea's Artillery Battalion assignments included: Department of Texas (December 1861–February 1862); Eastern District of Texas, Department of Texas (February–May 1862); Eastern District of Texas, Trans-Mississippi Department (May–August 1862); District of Texas, Trans-Mississippi Department (August–December 1862); District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, Trans-Mississippi Department (December 1862–January 1863); Eastern Sub-District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, Trans-Mississippi Department (January–February 1863).

On February 11–13, 1862, while stationed at Camp Esperanza near Saluria, Texas, Shea's Battalion traveled to Cedar Bayou to capture Federal soldiers who were landing at Aransas Pass from the blockading bark Afton. Weeks later, on March 4, 1862, Shea's Battalion was involved in an altercation with Union Army ships, the Midnight and the Arthur, outside of Saluria Bayou wherein Confederate prisoners were rescued.

Under Brig. Gen. Hamilton P. Bee, commanding the sub-district of the Rio Grande, Shea's Battalion fought in the battle at Lavaca on October 31–November 1, 1862. Despite being decimated by yellow fever, then raging throughout the Lavaca area, Shea's ranks were able to force the retreat of Federal gunboats.

Shea's Artillery Battalion and a company of Mounted Rifles were consolidated with the Eighth Texas Infantry Battalion in February 1863 to form the Eighth Texas Infantry Regiment. The Eighth Texas Infantry Battalion had been organized on May 14, 1862, and trained at Camp Charles Russell. The unit consisted of five companies and helped prevent a Union invasion at the battle of Corpus Christi (August 16–18, 1862). As a newly consolidated unit in 1863, the Eighth Texas Infantry Regiment contained one cavalry, four infantry, and five artillery companies to serve the Trans-Mississippi Department.

Col. Alfred M. Hobby and field officers, Lt. Col. John Ireland, Lt. Col. Daniel D. Shea, and Maj. John A. Vernon, led the regimental assignments including: Western Sub-District, District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, Trans-Mississippi Department (February–June 1863); First Brigade, Bee's Division [or Western Sub-District], District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, Trans-Mississippi Department (June 1863–October 1863); Waul's Brigade, Slaughter's Division [or Eastern Sub-District], District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, Trans-Mississippi Department (December 1863–March 1864); Eastern [or First] Sub-District, District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, Trans-Mississippi Department (April–September 1864); Sixth [H├ębert's] Texas Brigade, Maxey's Division, District of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, Trans-Mississippi Department (April–May 1865). In April 1864 the unit was attached to Waul's Texas Legion. The Eighth Texas Infantry Regiment drove Union troops back at the battle of Saint Joseph's Island (May 3, 1863) and confronted Federals primarily in Texas but saw action at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill in Louisiana in 1864. The unit spent the remainder of the war employed in coastal defense and mustered out on May 22, 1865.

Only a handful of Eighth Texas Infantry Regiment men surrendered between May 26, 1865, and June 2, 1865, under Gen. Edmund K. Smith, commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department, along with the field officers Col. A. M. Hobby, Lieutenant Colonel Ireland, Lieutenant Colonel Shea, and Major Vernon.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Bowen Family Web: Eighth Texas Infantry. Hobby's Regiment Texas Infantry (http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bowen/hobbys8thTexas.html), accessed March 15, 2011). Joseph H. Crute, Jr., Units of the Confederate States Army (Midlothian, Virginia: Derwent,1987). Richard G. Lowe, Walker's Texas Division, C.S.A.: Greyhounds of the Trans-Mississippi (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004). Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Texas (New York: Facts on File,1995). The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: GPO, 1880–1901).

Patricia Holm

Citation

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

Patricia Holm, "FOURTH TEXAS ARTILLERY BATTALION," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qkf04), accessed September 20, 2014. Uploaded on April 5, 2011. Modified on June 8, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.