Camp Henry E. McCulloch

By: Charles Spurlin

Type: General Entry

Published: December 1, 1994

Camp Henry E. McCulloch, at Nuner's Mott, four miles north of Victoria, served as a Confederate camp of instruction from September 1861 to May 1862. The post was named in honor of Gen. Henry Eustace McCulloch, commander of the Department of Texas. Its commanding officer was Col. Robert R. Garland, a native Virginian who entered the United States Army on December 30, 1847, as a second lieutenant in the Seventh Infantry. By 1861 he held the rank of captain. After the fall of Fort Sumter, Garland forfeited his commission while stationed at Fort Fillmore, New Mexico, enrolled in the Confederate Army as a captain, and was assigned to duty as a mustering officer for the Texas cavalry regiments of B. Warren Stone, Jr., and Middleton T. Johnson. Later he was authorized to raise and train men for the newly formed Sixth Texas Infantry. Garland was confirmed colonel of the regiment on December 12, 1861, to rank from the preceding September 3.

Ten infantry companies from Calhoun, Victoria, Bell, Matagorda, Bexar, Gonzales, DeWitt, Travis, and Guadalupe counties were assembled at Camp McCulloch. The first one mustered into service there was the Lavaca Guards, from Calhoun County. Included in the ranks of the Sixth Texas Infantry were T. Scott Anderson, Sebron G. Sneed, Jr., George P. Finlay, and John P. White. In addition to the infantry companies two cavalry companies, Edward Beaumont's and James C. Borden's, were also stationed at the camp.

The site selected for Camp McCulloch was very disagreeable to some of the soldiers, who complained that the location was insect-infested and unhealthful. In order to provide adequate medical care for the trainees, the Victoria Male Academy was rented from the Corporation of Victoria and used as the camp's hospital. The troops were issued "butternut"-light brown- uniforms manufactured at the State Penitentiary (see TEXAS STATE PENITENTIARY AT HUNTSVILLE). The raw recruits were drilled under the watchful eye of Garland until they became adept at marching with military precision. In December 1861 units of the regiment were ordered to Indianola and Saluria to help defend the region against an anticipated Union attack. When it became apparent that no engagement was forthcoming, the companies returned to Victoria.

Before breaking camp on May 22, 1862, and moving to Arkansas, Garland asked the ladies of Victoria to make a regimental flag. Mrs. Richard (Elizabeth McAnulty) Owens and her daughters, using materials from the Owens mercantile store, designed and produced a flag. However, the flag was not finished before the regiment left Camp McCulloch and had to be forwarded. Shortly after it was received, it was captured at the battle of Arkansas Post.

Roy Grimes, ed., 300 Years in Victoria County (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate, 1968; rpt., Austin: Nortex, 1985). James M. McCaffrey, This Band of Heroes (Austin: Eakin Press, 1985). George Lee Robertson Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

Charles Spurlin, “Camp Henry E. McCulloch,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

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