It is estimated that 56,000 Texans served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, yet the approximately 4,000 men, organized into thirty-two companies that formed the Texas Brigade, were the only Texans who fought in both theaters of operation. They have been compared to the famous Stonewall Brigade in terms of bravery, skill, and fortitude. As was the case with numerous troops throughout the war, the actions of the Texas Brigade directly contributed to the outcome of certain battles and the general course of history.
Although the Texas Brigade participated in renowned battles such as Gettysburg and Antietam, the achievement for which they are most acclaimed occurred during the Peninsula Campaign at the Battle of Gaines’s Mill.
The imposing John Bell Hood was born in Owingsville, Kentucky in 1831, yet was a self-declared Texan. He had travelled extensively through Texas and was impressed with the possibilities the state held. Additionally, he was dismayed that his home state of Kentucky remained neutral rather than joining the Confederate States of America. (C.S.A.) Hood was a West Point graduate, class of 1853, yet was able to maintain a frontier attitude, which immediately endeared him to his men.