Waul's Texas Legion soldier


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,735
Location
Collierville, TN
#6
Waul's Texas Legion was a large, brigade-size unit composed of combined units of infantry, artillery and 6 companies of cavalry. The Confederate Army considered the unit too large for maneuver on the battlefield. The Cavalry was separated from the Legion and became Willis' Texas Cavalry under the command of Colonel Leonidas Willis.

If you are searching for records of Willis' Cavalry in Fold3 or NARA, they would be filed under Waul's Legion(Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery).

The following Texas cavalry trooper, 1-Lt Albion F. Ryon, was said to be
have been killed by an artillery shell at the Battle of Fort Pillow.

RyonAlbion.jpg
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
13,222
Location
Mississippi
#9
Thermopylae had it's 300 Spartans.
Vicksburg had Waul's Texas Legion.:smug:

The Texas monument at Vicksburg NMP by member @mt155
4519885082_0c5b2f2b80_b.jpg

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/battlefield-monuments.16752/#post-196827

Thomas Neville Waul (1813 - 1903) South Carolina. Served in the Provisional Confederate Congress, but lost the election to the First Confederate Congress. Raised Waul's Legion, captured at Vicksburg, promoted to BG, he served in the Trans-Mississippi for the remainder of the war.
515034871a20b44aeed95d40e92cc935.jpg

http://www.pinterest.com/thebigdean/civil-war-generals-csa/
 
Last edited:

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,735
Location
Collierville, TN
#11
Okay, then, I will post some info on Col. Leonidus Willis.
I wish I had time to read through some original sources to get some quotes about him. This bio will have to do.

WILLIS, LEONIDAS M. (1831–1899). Leonidas ("Lee") M. Willis, businessman and Confederate officer, was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on September 11, 1831, to Joshua Willis and Martha Hall. Willis became an orphan at the age of two and was raised by foster parents who moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1847. In 1852 Willis relocated to Texas and settled in Gonzales County and worked as a district clerk for the county. He married Caroline Jane Mooney in Gonzales County on November 26, 1857. The couple had three sons and two daughters.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Willis, who owned five slaves, volunteered for service with the Confederacy and raised a cavalry company in the spring of 1862. This unit was incorporated in Waul's Texas Legion which was then forming at Brenham in Washington County. Willis himself joined Waul's Legion as major in command of one of the unit's two cavalry battalions and received a promotion to lieutenant colonel on September 26, 1862. In the autumn of 1862, Waul's Texas Legion was assigned to Arkansas and Louisiana. There, it was stripped of its cavalry and artillery components, and Willis's unit became Willis's Battalion Texas Cavalry.

Willis participated in numerous actions, including the battle of Vicksburg where he was captured on July 4, 1863. After receiving parole, Willis reorganized his battalion and served along the Mississippi River for most of the remainder of the war. He resigned as lieutenant colonel on February 4, 1865, three months before his unit surrendered in Alabama in May.

Following the end of the war, Willis returned briefly to Texas before moving to Salem, Oregon, in 1871. There, he bought property and established himself in the dry goods, hardware, and real estate business and worked as the city's fire inspection agent in 1880. Leonidas Willis died on April 10, 1899, and was buried in Pioneer Cemetery, Salem, Marion County, Oregon.

Quoted from : http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwidj

Photo of Colonel Leonidas Willis
Leonidas%2BWillis%2BPerhaps.jpg


There are two links in Find-a-Grave.
Pioneer Cemetery
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/f...Sst=39&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=24113273&df=all&

City View Cemetery
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/f...Sst=39&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=47440838&df=all&


He had a son, Percy Willis, served with distinction in both the Spanish-American and World War 1, and rose to the rank of Colonel. He comes of a family noted for military prowess, his father, Leo Willis, being a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate army, serving under Lieutenant General N. B. Forrest, while his uncle, John T. Morgan, was a brigadier general in the Army of the Confederacy. Percy Willis was a Willamette University graduate and Trustee, having left the University a very large sum of money. Even now (2014) funds are available to help struggling Willamette University students, thanks to Pery Willis.

Bio of Percy Willis: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jtenlen/ORBios/pwillis.txt
Quote: http://capitaltaps.blogspot.com/2010/11/wilfred-owen-leonidas-willis-and-unmild.html

I found this book containing letters from a soldier in Willis' Cavalry--partially viewable in Google Books. He apparently enlisted in the 38 Texas Cavalry but was merged with Waul's Legion, I guess. Not much in the letters and the author could not fill in much about the unit.
Link: http://books.google.com/books?id=wi...Aw#v=onepage&q=Col. "leonidas willis"&f=false
 
Last edited:

Story

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
1,554
Location
SE PA
#12
The first infantry battalion was originally commanded by Lt. Col. Barnard Timmons and the second by Lt. Col. James Wrigley. In October 1862 the infantry companies were transferred to Mississippi and reorganized into two battalions of six companies each.
Short of trawling through Fold3 entry-by-entry, has anyone tripped over transcribed rosters of this Battalion/Regiment? I'm particularly interested in Co B.

The infantry regiment contained twelve companies and served in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana. It fought in the Vicksburg Campaign and was captured on July 4, 1863. Here the unit reported 47 killed, 190 wounded, and 8 missing of the 381 engaged. After being exchanged and reorganized in Texas, it was stationed at Galveston attached to the Trans-Mississippi Department. In December, 1864, the regiment had 14 officers and 204 men, and in April, 1865, totalled 315 effectives. During May it disbanded. The field officers were Colonels Barnard Timmons and Thomas N. Waul; Lieutenant Colonels O. Steele and James Wrigley; and Majors E. S. Bollong, Allen Cameron, and Otto Nathusius.
https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=CTXWAULL
 

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,735
Location
Collierville, TN
#14
Was Leonidas Willis actually surrendered with the Confederate garrison at Vicksburg??
I just saw this question from a month ago. There was another forum that discussed the Battle of Fort Pemberton and the role of Waul's Texas Legion. We discussed about when did Willis' Cavalry separate from Waul's Texas Legion. I think we came to the conclusion that the two units separated after this battle or in late March 1863. So my guess---as I don't have any OR at hand now---is that Willis' Texas Cavalry was NOT surrendered at Vicksburg.
 

DixieRifles

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
4,735
Location
Collierville, TN
#15
Willis participated in numerous actions, including the battle of Vicksburg where he was captured on July 4, 1863. After receiving parole, Willis reorganized his battalion and served along the Mississippi River for most of the remainder of the war.
Well, I spoke too soon. I guess I was wrong. The above quote is from the article in the above previous post.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2017
Messages
44
#16
I asked that question knowing the answer. I was hoping to create enough discussion on this topic to settle the issue once and for all. Maybe then we can move on to a more detailed study of Willis's Cavalry's history.

I think the quote: "Willis participated in numerous actions, including the battle of Vicksburg where he was captured on July 4, 1863." is from a secondary source and is probably based on the oversimplified idea that if Willis was part of Waul' s Legion and Waul's was surrendered at Vicksburg then Willis was surrendered at Vicksburg.
I am convinced that this is wrong.

First, I see absolutely no evidence that Willis was surrendered at Vicksburg, other than the above secondary source. Not the least of that evidence is that Willis's CMSR shows no record of service in the seige of Vicksburg. needless to say, there is no Vicksburg parole present.

Second, there is quite a body of evidence that places Willis outside of Vicksburg during the seige. Additionally is plenty of evidence that shows his Cavalry operating separating from the main body of Waul's Legion before, during and after the seige.

I am fairly new to CWT and not familiar with the forum you mentioned. I will check it out later. But your quoted outcome:
"I think we came to the conclusion that the two units separated after this battle or in late March 1863." is absolutely correct.
 

alan polk

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
2,515
#17
For some reason - I can't recall at all where I might have read it - I thought the cavalry operated around Yazoo City during the siege, or were there at Yazoo as the siege was coming to an end.

Does this sound familiar to anyone?
 
Joined
May 4, 2019
Messages
6
#19
Short of trawling through Fold3 entry-by-entry, has anyone tripped over transcribed rosters of this Battalion/Regiment? I'm particularly interested in Co B.

There were three units known as Company B. One in the infantry regiment, one in the cavalry battalion, and one in the artillery battery. "Waul's Legion, History of the Texas Legion" contains a history and a complete roster for each.
 



Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top