Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood's original uniform hat, two of his swords and  his
spurs and sash were all on display at the annual seminar of Hood's Texas
Brigade Association Re-Activated Nov. 16, 2013 at Sam Houston Memorial
Museum Complex in Huntsville, Texas. The artifacts are from the Applewhite-
Clark Collection. (Photo by M.D. Jones)

          HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Descendants of veterans of Hood's Texas Brigade Association Re-Activated heard topnotch historians give riveting talks on the famed Confederate unit Nov. 16, 2013 at the group's annual seminar in the Sam Houston Memorial Museum Complex.
       Martha Ann Hartzog, president, welcomed the gathering and noted the organization is made up of both descendants of the men of the brigade, and of associate members interested perpetuating their deeds of valor and memory. The original brigade included the 1st, 4th and 5th Texas volunteer infantry regiments, 3rd Arkansas Infantry, 18th Georgia Infantry, Hampton's South Carolina Legions infantry companies and Company D, 1st North Carolina Artillery Regiment (Rowan Artillery).
 A reception was held the previous evening for the members and seminar speakers. Rick Eiserman, the group's historian, gave a presentation on "Will the Real Pvt. Joe Joskins, 5th TX, Please Step Forward." Eiserman said that Joe Joskins was a pen name for Pvt. Robert Campbell, Company A, 5th Texas, who wrote his memoir at Huntsville while recovering from a war wound. The real identity author  of the unpublished, but widely quoted, memoir has been a historical mystery.
      Also at the reception, Dr. Susannah Ural of the University of Southern Mississippi, who was also one of the seminar speakers, signed copies of her new book, Don't Hurry Me Down to Hades.
      Other seminar speakers included Dr. Keith S. Bohannon of Pennsylvania State University; Dr. Charles D. Grear of Prairie View A&M University; and Phillip M. Sozansky, a history teacher at Cedar Park Middle School, Round Rock, Texas.
      Dr. Grear gave his talk on "Sam Houston & the Fate of Texas." He reviewed Houston's colorful life from an unsuccessful governor of Tennessee, as an adopted member of the Cherokee Nation, a Texas revolutionary, president of the Republic of Texas and U.S. Senator and Governor of the States of Texas. Grear noted that Houston was adamantly opposed to secession and when he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, was removed from office. When the war started, Grear said Houston came around to reluctantly supporting his state's war effort. His son, Sam Houston Jr., was a member of the 2nd Texas Infantry and severely wounded at the Battle of Shiloh. The senior Houston died at his home in Huntsville July 23, 1863 at age 70.
      The next speaker, Dr. Ural, gave her presentation on "To See the Boys from Texas" during which she showed slides of soldiers of the regiment and read from their letters, diaries and memoirs. She noted that after rough fighting and heavy casualties in 1863, including Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and the court martial of their commander, Brig. Gen. J.B. Robertson, the morale of the Texans was low. However they recovered when they returned to General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia in the Spring of 1864. She said the Texans had a strong sense of Confederate nationalism that they maintained throughout the war.
      Sozansky gave his talk on "Hood's Texans: Frontier Warriors." He said the Texans were able to keep their combat effectiveness through four years of war and heavy casualties because of their background of living a rugged frontier life, their leaders who had much combat experience in the War for Texas Independence, fighting hostile Indians, and in the Mexican War. 
      Dr. Bohannon gave a history of "Hood's Texas Brigade & Chickamauga." The Texans and Arkansans were deeply involved in the fighting on both September 19 and 20 at the Battle of Chickamauga. He noted they suffered heavy casualties on both days. He said on the second day of the battle, the Texas Brigade participated in Longstreet's famous routing of the Federal Army, but was ambushed by the enemy and had to retreat to a woodline. Bohannon said that was when General Hood suffered his severe leg wound that resulted in amputation. 
       For more information about Hood's Texas Brigade Association Re-Activated, click here for here for their web site.

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