Luckett, Philip Noland (ca. 1823–1869)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: February 24, 2011

Philip Noland Luckett, soldier and physician, was born in Virginia, where he was educated as a physician. He moved to Ohio and supposedly received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, though he did not enroll. He moved to Texas in 1847 and established his residence and practice in Corpus Christi. Through the late 1840s he served as surgeon of Capt. John S. Ford's company of Texas Rangers. He represented Nueces and Webb counties in the state Secession Convention, January 28 through February 4, 1861. At the end of the convention he was appointed one of three commissioners of public safety to treat with Maj. Gen. David E. Twiggs for the surrender of federal property in San Antonio. His colleagues on the committee were Thomas J. Devine and Samuel A. Maverick. Luckett subsequently was appointed quartermaster general of Texas and served on the staff of Earl Van Dorn while he was commander of the Department of Texas.

During the fall of 1861 he was elected colonel of the Third Texas Infantry. The regiment's 648 men had been recruited in Austin and San Antonio. Augustus Buchel was first lieutenant colonel, and Charles A. Schreiner of Kerrville served as ordnance sergeant. In October 1862 the regiment was assigned to Colonel Ford's Western Subdistrict of Texas and scattered from Fort Brown to Laredo. Luckett's Third Infantry arrived in Galveston from Brownsville on July 12, 1863, and soon afterward he was brevetted brigadier general. On August 8, 1863, he succeeded Ford in command of the subdistrict; he established his headquarters at Brownsville. The unit saw no action during the first years of the war, and its morale suffered accordingly until its assignment in April 1864 to Brig. Gen. William R. Scurry's brigade of Walker's Texas Division. Luckett's men took part in the Red River campaign and the 1864 campaign in Arkansas, which culminated in the repulse of Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele at the battle of Jenkins's Ferry. Scurry was killed there, and Luckett took command of the brigade, but after December 21, 1864, detached duty and illness kept him away from the army for the remainder of the war. Following the collapse of the Confederacy Luckett was one of the forty men, including generals William Preston and Hamilton P. Bee, who accompanied Maj. Gen. John G. Walker to Mexico. He returned to Texas in November 1865, when he and his fellow commissioner of public safety, Devine, were arrested by federal officials and imprisoned at Fort Jackson, Louisiana. Luckett's health was seriously impaired by his several months of incarceration. After his release he remained for a time in New Orleans before joining relatives in Cincinnati, Ohio. He died there died on May 21, 1869.

Norman D. Brown, ed., Journey to Pleasant Hill: The Civil War Letters of Captain Elijah P. Petty (San Antonio: University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures, 1982). Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, May 24, 1869. Joseph H. Crute, Jr., Units of the Confederate States Army (Midlothian, Virginia: Derwent, 1987). Clement Anselm Evans, ed., Confederate Military History (Atlanta: Confederate Publishing, 1899; extended ed., Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot, 1987–89). John S. Ford, Rip Ford's Texas, ed. Stephen B. Oates (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963). New Orleans Daily Picayune, May 23, 1869. Alexander Watkins Terrell, From Texas to Mexico and the Court of Maximilian in 1865 (Dallas: Book Club of Texas, 1933). Marcus J. Wright, comp., and Harold B. Simpson, ed., Texas in the War, 1861–1865 (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1965).

Time Periods:

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Luckett, Philip Noland,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 24, 2011

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