The Twentieth Texas Infantry was organized in the spring of 1862 at Galveston, Texas, to serve in the defense of the state’s coastline. The regiment was made up of primarily middle-aged wealthy men of some level of prominence. The regiment consisted of ten companies, lettered A to K, from the counties of Anderson, Austin, Falls, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Kaufman, Montgomery, Polk, Robertson, Walker, Waller, Washington, and Williamson. Col. Henry M. Elmore commanded the regiment, and its field officers were Lt. Col. Leonard A. Abercrombie and Maj. Robert E. Bell.
Throughout the war the regiment spent most of its time serving in and around Galveston. Early in 1863 the men of the regiment were trained to use heavy artillery along the coast. The only combat the regiment took part in was the battle of Galveston on January 1, 1863. On January 3, 1863, a detachment of the regiment also took part in a skirmish at Galveston. Both engagements were Confederate victories. By April 1864 the regiment had twenty-one officers and 622 men present for coastal defense. The Twentieth Texas Infantry was present at Galveston when the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered on June 2, 1865.