“They have fought grandly, nobly, and we must have more of them,” wrote Confederate General Robert E. Lee on September 21, 1862, to General Louis T. Wigfall. General Lee was referring to the Texas Regiment, led by John Bell Hood.
Wikipedia: John Bell Hood
John Bell Hood (June 1 or June 29, 1831 – August 30, 1879) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. Hood had a reputation for bravery and aggressiveness that sometimes bordered on recklessness. Arguably one of the best brigade and division commanders in the Confederate States Army, Hood became increasingly ineffective as he was promoted to lead larger, independent commands late in the war, and his career was marred by his decisive defeats leading an army in the Atlanta Campaign and the Franklin-Nashville Campaign.
Brigade and division command
Hood resigned from the United States Army immediately after Fort Sumter and, dissatisfied with the neutrality of his native Kentucky, decided to serve his adopted state of Texas. He joined the Confederate army as a cavalry captain, but by September 30, 1861, was promoted to be colonel in command of the 4th Texas Infantry.
Hood became the brigade commander of the unit that was henceforth known as Hood’s Texas Brigade on February 20, 1862, part of the Confederate Army of the Potomac, and was promoted to brigadier general on March 3, 1862. Leading the Texas brigade as part of the Army of Northern Virginia in the Peninsula Campaign, he established his reputation as an aggressive commander, eager to lead his troops personally into battle. At the Battle of Gaines’ Mill on June 27, he distinguished himself by leading his brigade in a charge that broke the Union line, which was the most successful Confederate performance in the Seven Days Battles. While Hood escaped the battle without an injury, every other officer in his brigade was killed or wounded.
Because of his success on the Peninsula, Hood was given command of a division in Maj. Gen. James Longstreet’s First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. He led the division in the Northern Virginia Campaign and added to his reputation as the premier leader of shock troops during Longstreet’s massive assault on John Pope’s left flank at the Second Battle of Bull Run, which nearly destroyed the Union army. In the pursuit of Union forces, Hood was involved in a dispute over captured ambulances with a superior officer. Longstreet had Hood arrested and ordered him to leave the army, but Gen. Lee intervened and retained him in service. During the Maryland Campaign, just before the Battle of South Mountain, Hood was in the rear, still in virtual arrest. His Texas troops shouted to General Lee, “Give us Hood!” Lee restored Hood to command, despite Hood’s refusal to apologize for his conduct.
During the Battle of Antietam, Hood’s division came to the relief of Stonewall Jackson’s corps on the Confederate left flank. Jackson was impressed with Hood’s performance and recommended his promotion to major general, which occurred on October 10, 1862.
In the Battle of Fredericksburg in December, Hood’s division saw little action, placed in the center, between Longstreet’s lines on Marye’s Heights, and Jackson’s lines. And in the spring of 1863, he missed the great victory of the Battle of Chancellorsville because most of Longstreet’s First Corps was on detached duty in Suffolk, Virginia, involving Longstreet himself, Hood’s, and George Pickett’s divisions.
Wikipedia: Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was a career United States Army officer, a combat engineer, and among the most celebrated generals in American history. Lee was the son of Major General Henry Lee III “Light Horse Harry” (1756–1818), Governor of Virginia, and his second wife, Anne Hill Carter (1773–1829). He was also related to Meriwether Lewis (1774–1809).
A southern girl in ‘61; the war-time memories of a Confederate senator’s daughter
By Louise Wigfall Wright
New York, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co.
HEAD QUARTERS ARMY, W. Va.,
GEN. LOUIS T. WIGFALL,
Sept. 21st, 1862.
I have not yet heard from you with regard to the new Texas Regiments which you promised to endeavor to raise for this Army. I need them much. I rely upon these we have in all tight places and fear I have to call upon them too often. They have fought grandly, nobly, and we must have more of them. Please make every possible exertion to get them in, and send them on to me. You must help us in this matter. With a few more such regiments asthose which Hood now has, as an example of daring and bravery, I could feel much more confident of the results of the campaign.
Very respectfully yours,
R. E. Lee,
John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence
By Richard M. McMurry
Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press
Lee also praised Hood and the Texas regiments. On September 21 he wrote Senator Wigfall about obtaining more troops from the Lone Star State. “I rely upon those we have in all tight places,” he commented, “and fear that I have to call upon them too often. They have fought grandly, nobly, and we must have more of them. ... With a few more such regiments as those which Hood now has, as an example of daring and bravery I could feel much more confident of the results of the campaign.”
The Other McCain
From the Lone Star to Wasilla, With Love: The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You!
Posted on | May 11, 2010
As for Piper Palin’s rocking horse, let us hope she absorbs some of that courageous Lone Star spirit that earned Texans their famous praise:
“They have fought grandly, nobly, and we must have more of them.”