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SECOND TEXAS INFANTRY

SECOND TEXAS INFANTRY. The Second Texas Infantry, a Confederate regiment, was organized in Galveston in September 1861 by its first commander, Col. John Creed Moore. The regiment organized to protect the coast of Texas from northern invasion and was initially billeted at cotton warehouses in Galveston. It was moved to Camp Bee in Houston by December 1861 to complete training. The unit was composed of ten companies of volunteer militia, and the staff officers were Maj. Hall G. Runnels and Lt. Col. William P. Rogers. By March 1862 the regiment had been moved from Houston to Corinth, Mississippi, to become a part of the Army of the Mississippi, being organized by Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston. While in Mississippi, the Second Texas fought in a number of engagements and skirmishes, including the battle at Shiloh on April 6–7, 1862, for which the unit was cited for bravery by generals P. G. T. Beauregard and Dabney Maury. The Second Texas Infantry participated on the right wing of Confederate attackers in the capture of the headquarters of three brigades and the encirclement of Gen. Benjamin M. Prentiss's division in the Hornet's Nest and penetrated to within a short distance of the steamboat landing by darkness on April 6. For gallantry on this day, Moore was promoted to brigadier general, and Rogers was promoted to the rank of colonel and placed in command of the regiment. Rogers led the Second Texas in a daring attack on Fort Robinett, Corinth, Mississippi, on October 4, 1862. After two unsuccessful assaults on the fort, Rogers, parading the regimental colors from horseback, led a successful attack. However, the fort was held for only a short while before it was recaptured in a counterattack during which Rogers was killed.

The regiment was also distinguished for its defense of a crescent-shaped fortification, which came to be known as the Second Texas Lunette, located in the center of the Vicksburg line of defense. Under the command of Col. Ashbel Smith, the Second Texas Infantry withstood two Union assaults of brigade strength directed against the lunette on May 22, 1863. For forty-six days the men of the regiment faced daily shelling from land-based artillery and nightly bombardment from the fleet of mortar barges anchored in the Mississippi River. The Confederate defenders of Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863, when the prospect of starvation became imminent. With the surrender of Vicksburg the Second Texas Infantry was furloughed to Texas as paroled prisoners of war. After being exchanged in November 1863, the regiment was reassembled at Camp Bee and placed under Gen. John B. Magruder, commander of the District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. But the regiment, decimated by its service in Mississippi, could muster no more than a battalion of effective troops. It was never restaffed, but continued to carry the regimental designation throughout the remainder of the war. The unit was stationed in Galveston and assigned to guard the port against capture. It then participated in a last skirmish at the mouth of Caney Creek, Texas, in February 1864. Rather than surrender at the cessation of hostilities, the men mutinied in May 1865 and disbanded to return to their homes, after service distinguished by gallantry under fire and devotion to duty.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Joseph E. Chance, The Second Texas Infantry: From Shiloh to Vicksburg (Austin: Eakin Press, 1984).

Joseph E. Chance

Citation

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

Joseph E. Chance, "SECOND TEXAS INFANTRY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qks04), accessed July 11, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.