3rd Texas Infantry

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AUG

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3rd Texas Infantry.jpg

Flag of the 3rd Texas Infantry. According to two articles in the Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, two flags were presented to the regiment on Sept. 2, 1863, one a "regimental" flag and the other a "battle" flag. This one is probably the latter.

Commissioned by citizens of Brownsville, Texas, in appreciation of the regiment's service there, they were said to have been sewn in Havana, Cuba, by a colony of exiled ladies who had fled New Orleans when it came under Federal occupation in 1862. A woman by the name of Mrs. Phelps, formerly of Brazoria County, Texas, was in charge of the project. They were sent to Galveston by blockade runner and presented to the regiment in Houston. According to one of the newspaper articles, the flags consisted "all of heavy silk, with bullion stars and heavy bullion cords and tassels."

It is one of only three surviving flags of this pattern, the colors in reverse from the usual Confederate Battle Flag, with a red cross and blue field (since faded). All three belonged to regiments that served in the Trans-Mississippi. It's thought that Gen. Richard Taylor had some part in the design and use of these flags, but there is very little if any surviving information on them.

Today it is in the collection of the Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth.


Edit to add: Here are the newspaper articles mentioned:

We have been shown a most magnificent stand of colors made for the 3d Texas Infantry, by Mrs. Phelps of New Orleans, now in Havana, and by her sent to be presented to the regiment here. It consists of a regimental flag and a battle flag, all of heavy silk, with bullion stars, and heavy bullion cords and tassels. We doubt of there is another so costly and elegant a stand of colors belonging to any regiment n the service. We doubt not the regiment will be as proud of it, as it is beautiful, and rejoice to know that the exiles of New Orleans, now in Havana, are not unmindful of the soldiers battling for the recovery of their homes. Mrs. Phelps was formerly of Brazoria county, in this State.

- Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, August 20, 1863, pt. 2, col. 3

Color Presentation.
On Wednesday evening there was quite a display in our city, caused by the presentation of a beautiful stand of colors to the 3d Texas Regiment. This regiment has been until recently stationed at Brownsville. Some months since, the citizens of that place, desirous of giving the regiment a testimonial of their appreciation of the good behavior and gallantry of the regiment, determined to present them a flag. Quite a number of the citizens claimed the privilege of contributing. They made up a purse and sent it to Havana. On inquiry it was found there was no means of having the flag made there. Some patriotic ladies of New Orleans, who were then in exile, driven from their homes by Brute Butler, came forward and offered their services, claiming the privilege of making not only a regimental, but a battle flag also, and sending them to the soldiers. The result was the beautiful flags we mentioned the other day, which were publicly presented to the regiment on Wednesday morning.
At 4 P.M., the regiment, dressed in complete uniform, marched up Main street from their camp across the bayou, to the Academy square, where they underwent inspection and review. This over, they were marched into the Academy yard, and formed in front of the academy by their commander, Lt. Col. E. F. Gray. Quite an array of officers, including the Commanding General and his Staff were upon the balcony of the Academy, also many ladies and citizens, while a large crowd were assembled outside to witness the ceremony.
The flags were brought forward and presented, with an appropriate address by Mr. Mott, of New Orleans, in the name of the fair ladies who sent them. Mr. Mott gave a history of the flags as we have given it above, and, in the name of the ladies, called on the men to see that no stain of disgrace ever befel the work of their hands.
Capt. H. B. Andrews, in behalf of the Regiment, received the colors, and, while paying an eloquent tribute to the ladies who sent them, promised that they would be borne to victory or death. The brief oration of Capt. A. was full of enthusiasm, and was received with loud applause.
The colors were then handed to Col. Gray, who committed them to the Color Guard, with an admonition to bear them in the battle's front, and relinquish them only with their lives. The colors were received by the regiment with loud cheers.
Gen. Magruder was then called upon, and came forward, addressing the regiment in a patriotic and telling speech. He warned them to beware of demagogues. He told them what the war was for, and what they could only expect if conquered. He appropriately alluded to the recent difficulties in the regiment, and to the orders that had been made separating them; and wound up by announcing a change of orders, and that they should march together a band of brothers to the northern frontier, where they would meet the enemy, and prove their devotion to their country in the battle field. His remarks were received with hearty cheers; and at the close Col. Gray called for three cheers for Gen. Magruder, which were given with a will that showed no trace remaining of the ill feeling that had been heretofore thought to exist.
Gen. Luckett then added a few words to his old regiment, and the ceremony was closed. Altogether it was a fine display and calculated to have the best effect both on soldiers and people.

- Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph, September 4, 1863, pt. 2, col. 1
 
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AUG

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History of the regiment in Lone Star Regiments in Gray by Ralph A. Wooster, pp. 262-67:
Third Texas Infantry. The Third Texas Infantry spent the first three years of the war along the Rio Grande and the Texas coast. In the spring of 1864 the Third Texas was ordered to join Walker's Texas Division in Louisiana. The regiment arrived in Louisiana too late to take part in the battles at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill but joined the division in time to participate in the Arkansas campaign. After serving with William R. Scurry's Brigade in the battle at Jenkins' Ferry, the Third Texas was with the brigade when Walker's Division returned to Louisiana late that spring. The regiment remained with the division until the closing months of the war.​
The men of the Third Texas were recruited in the San Antonio-Austin area during the summer of 1861. Muster rolls list slightly more than 800 men divided into ten companies of uneven size. Many of the volunteers, especially in C and F companies, were Mexican Americans. The recruits in Companies B, H and K were German Americans. The other five companies were ethnically more diverse, with Mexican, German, Anglo, and Celtic names appearing on their rosters.​
Philip Noland Luckett, a Corpus Christi physician, was commander of the Third Texas throughout the war. A Virginian by birth, Luckett briefly attended the U.S. Military Academy at West point. After studying medicine, he migrated to Texas in 1847. He practiced medicine in the Corpus Christi area throughout the 1850s. During this time he also served as a surgeon with the Texas Rangers. In 1861 he was elected to the secession convention. There he was chosen as one of the three commissioners to negotiate with U.S. authorities over the surrender of Federal forces in the state. After brief service as quartermaster and commissary general of Texas, he helped organize the Third Texas Infantry.​
Luckett was appointed colonel of the new regiment. Augustus Buchel was named lieutenant colonel but left the regiment later to command his own regiment. Edward Gray of Houston was appointed major and later lieutenant colonel, succeeding Buchel. Charles Schreiner, later a highly successful rancher and banker, was a non-commissioned officer in the regiment.​
The Third Infantry spent the year 1862 on duty in South Texas. Colonel Luckett, who replaced John S. Ford as the senior Confederate in the area, made his headquarters at Fort Brown. Although the men spent most of their time patrolling the lower Rio Grande, there was no contact with the enemy. As was true of many regiments, desertion and absence without leave was a constant problem. In January 1862 the regiment reported 769 men present for duty. That number was reduced to 648 men by November.​
In early summer 1863 the Third Infantry was ordered to Galveston Island to serve as part of the garrison commanded by Col. Xavier Debray. At the same time Colonel Luckett was made acting brigadier general by district commander John B. Magruder and assigned temporary command of the Eastern Sub-district of Texas with headquarters at Houston.​
Service on Galveston Island during the summer of 1863 was unpleasant. In spite of the heat and humidity, Colonel Debray, an officer trained in French military schools, ordered daily drill for the troops under his command. At the same time rations for the men grew progressively bad. On August 4, Lt. Col. Edward F. Gray, commanding the Third Texas in Luckett's absence, warned that the men were complaining of eating sour, weevil-infested meal while abundant supplies of wholesome flour were stored in nearby warehouses at Harrisburg and Columbus.​
When no improvements in their rations were forthcoming the men of the Third Infantry refused to drill. Colonel Debray, angry at what he considered mutiny, ordered the men disarmed and sent to their quarters under arrest. The next day, August 11, several companies of Joseph Cook's First Heavy Artillery Regiment also refused to drill. Debray, who had only the men of his own regiment and those of Henry Elmore's Twentieth Infantry to support him, feared the worst.​
Galveston historian Edward T. Cotham, Jr., pointed out that at this critical moment Colonel Luckett, "a more practical and sensible officer, appeared on the scene and acted as a peacemaker." After talking with the men, he determined that they were not disloyal but simply saw no reason to drill in the sun while being provided inadequate rations. Luckett suspended all drill and promised improved rations as soon as possible. The men accepted this approach, better rations did gradually appear, and conditions returned to normal.​
The threat of a Union invasion of the upper Texas coast soon turned thoughts away from rations to the war itself. On August 17, 1863, Luckett was charged with the defense of the Sabine River and the Texas coast from Sabine Pass to the western end of Matagorda Peninsula. He ordered companies of his own Third Infantry dispersed from Niblett's Bluff back to Houston. Lieutenant Colonel Gray and four companies of the Third Texas were assigned to Sabine Pass. Before these orders could be fully implemented, however, the Union attempt to take Sabine Pass was defeated by Dick Dowling and his artillerymen of the Davis Guard.​
1860 Texas map.jpg
Even though Dowling and his men were victorious at Sabine Pass, district commander John B. Magruder was fearful of another Federal attack. He appointed Col. Augustus Buchel as commander of the area and ordered several regiments, including the Third Texas to Sabine Pass. By the end of the month more than 3,000 Confederates were in Jefferson County.​
The Third Infantry, considerably reduced in numbers by illness, furloughs, and desertion, spent October and November 1863 at Sabine Pass. In early October the inspector general for the Trans Mississippi Department visiting the area reported only 265 men present for duty in the Third Texas. Lieutenant Colonel Gray and Maj. John F. Kampmann were both absent on sick leave. S. G. Newton, the senior captain in the regiment, was in command. The inspector general found clothing, equipment, and arms in good supply and condition. He noted the unit "has the reputation of being the best drilled regiment in the State," but concluded "this was, perhaps, the case when Colonel Buchel was lieutenant colonel but it [the Third Texas] is now in need of officers." He pointed out that it was unfortunate that Colonel Luckett was on detached duty and had seen little service with the regiment.​
In late November General Magruder decided the threat to the Texas coast south of Houston was greater than that to Sabine Pass. Accordingly, he ordered the Third Texas and several other units at Sabine Pass transferred to the mouth of the Brazos. In early December the Third Texas arrived at Velasco, where it remained for the next three months. Colonel Luckett, relieved of his duties in Houston, was again with the regiment. Both morale and discipline improved under his direction. An inspector general's report in early February noted the spirit of the troops was high and praised the general efficiency of the regiment.​
On March 13, 1864, the Third Infantry received orders to join Confederate forces in northern Louisiana. The Third Texas joined Walker's Texas Division near Shreveport as it headed toward Arkansas under orders to prevent Frederick Steele's Union troops from occupying southern Arkansas. The Third Texas was assigned to W. R. Scurry's Brigade as replacement for heavy losses suffered at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill.​
The Third Texas saw its first combat at Jenkins' Ferry in late 1864. In this engagement the regiment was on the Confederate right flank. Although Scurry's Brigade had the lowest casualties in the division, the Third Texas, perhaps eager to show its courage to the veteran regiments in the brigade, sustained fifty casualties, including twelve killed and thirty-eight wounded.​
Soon after the battle at Jenkins' Ferry, Walker's Division returned to Louisiana. The Third Texas remained with the division through the remaining months of the war. The division saw little fighting during these months but did a great deal of marching in northern Louisiana and Arkansas. Colonel Luckett was on detached duty much of the time, leaving command of the regiment to Gray.​
The Third Texas returned to Texas in late March 1865. The regiment was at Camp Groce near Hempstead when the dissolution of Walker's Division occurred in late May and the men went home.​
 

AUG

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Arthur L. Fremantle recorded a visit to the 3rd Texas in his Three Months in the Southern States:

8th April [1863]​
[. . . .]​
At 5 P.M. Captain Hancock and I crossed over to Brownsville, and were conducted in a very smart ambulance to General Bee's quarters, and afterwards to see a dress parade of the 3d Texas infantry.​
Lieutenant-Colonel Buchel is the working man of the corps, as he is a professional soldier. The men were well clothed, though great variety existed in their uniforms. Some companies wore blue, some grey, some had French kepis, others wideawakes and Mexican hats. They were a fine body of men, and really drilled uncommonly well. They went through a sort of guardmounting parade in a most creditable manner. About a hundred out of a thousand were conscripts.​
During all my travels in the South I never saw a regiment so well clothed or so well drilled as this one, which has never been in action, or been exposed to much hardship.​
After the parade, we adjourned to Colonel Luckett's to drink prosperity to the 3d Regiment.​
 
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AUG

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Manuel Yturri 1.jpg

Captain Manuel Yturri, Co. F, 3rd Texas Infantry.

His letters have been published in Tejanos in Gray: Civil War Letters of Captains Joseph Rafael de la Garza and Manuel Yturri edited by Jerry Thompson (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2011).

Capt. Joseph Rafael de la Garza, company commander in two other Texas regiments, was Yturri's brother-in-law.
 
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J. D. Stevens

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sustained fifty casualties, including twelve killed and thirty-eight wounded.
Fourteen of the 3rd Regiment's wounded at Jenkins Ferry were treated by Dr. Henry M. Dye at Princeton, Ark after the battle. Dr. Dye kept a journal in which he identifies each patient by name, rank, and unit affiliation. He also provides detailed anatomical descriptions of the wounds and how they were treated and draws pictures of each case.
 

Polloco

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Thanks for the info. My great great grandfather was in Co. H of the 3rd Texas. It has been listed as having German recruits. Grandfather was Polish.
 

AUG

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Fourteen of the 3rd Regiment's wounded at Jenkins Ferry were treated by Dr. Henry M. Dye at Princeton, Ark after the battle. Dr. Dye kept a journal in which he identifies each patient by name, rank, and unit affiliation. He also provides detailed anatomical descriptions of the wounds and how they were treated and draws pictures of each case.
Interesting, don't think I've heard of that before.

I see that Bill Gurley was working on publishing Dr. Dye's journal, although this article was from 2006:
https://cwba.blogspot.com/2006/10/author-news-bill-gurley.html

Did he ever get it published?
 
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Polloco

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The senior Captain S.G. Newton who was in command while the regiment was in Sabine. Does anyone know which Company he was Captain of? I'm thinking H but not sure.
 
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Ragged Old First

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http://www.borgerkrigen.info/ScandinavianConfederates/tx_infantry.htm

5_SCAN_3rd_TEXAS_INFANTRY_REGIMENT_Luckett%27s%20Regiment.gif

3rd TEXAS INFANTRY REGIMENT (Luckett's Regiment)

Mustered in 29 Oct 61 at Brownsville. Disbanded May 65.

Co D (Captain James N. Morgan's Infantry Company for Coast Defense)

(186?/20) Charles HANSON - Private / 1st Corporal / 5th Sergeant
B: [Carl Hansen] ca. 1839, Fredrikshald (Halden), Norway. Enlisted at Brownsville 12 Sep 61 for the war. (Prev. pvt, Capt. W. H. Redwood's Company, Rio Grande Regiment, TST) Description: 5'6" tall, blue eyes, dark hair. On extra duty as sailmaker 1 - 30 Apr 63, Fort Brown, Texas. Promoted 1st Corporal around May 63, 5th Sergeant 15 Sep 63. Absent sick (intermittent fever) in CSA General Hospital, Shreveport, Louisiana, 12 -21 Feb 65. Paroled at Galveston, Texas, 5 Jul 65 (parole no. 795)). D: ? (alive 1900)
 

Polloco

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If anyone out there can help with a little research the private I'm referring to in the 3rd is a Pavel Palitza. I'm sure the name is possibly on a roster or some other piece of paperwork but I cant locate it. My great-great grandfather Americanised his name and was called Paul if thays any help.
 

Ragged Old First

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AUG

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If anyone out there can help with a little research the private I'm referring to in the 3rd is a Pavel Palitza. I'm sure the name is possibly on a roster or some other piece of paperwork but I cant locate it. My great-great grandfather Americanised his name and was called Paul if thays any help.
Here are his service records. Civil War records are free to access on Fold3 until April 15.
 

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Polloco

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I went over the roster of men in the 3rd last night. It caught my attention that one of the men was referred to as an "ensign". Did Infantry have ensigns back then or was that somesort of misprint?
 

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I went over the roster of men in the 3rd last night. It caught my attention that one of the men was referred to as an "ensign". Did Infantry have ensigns back then or was that somesort of misprint?
Ensign was the color bearer. Confederate Congress created the rank in early 1864, abolishing it a year later. They received the same pay and allowances as a 1st lieutenant but did not have the same authority to command troops in the field, their only job being to carry the colors.
 
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Polloco

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Ensign was the color bearer. Confederate Congress created the rank in early 1864, abolishing it a year later. They received the same pay and allowances as a 1st lieutenant but did not have the same authority to command troops in the field, their only job being to carry the colors.
Thanks for the info. Why was this term abolished after having been created only a year earlier?And now that you mentioned it seems I have heard that term before.
 

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