Texas in the Civil War
Soldiers from Texas served in both the Union and Confederate armies, though the majority served in the Confederate armies. Texas seceded from the United States on February 1, 1861 and joined the Confederate States of America on March 2, 1861. Sam Houston, then governor, was replaced when he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.
Texas Military Units
Most units were numbered, however, many were named. See the table below for lists of the regiments, battalions, batteries, and other units.
The information in the lists of Texas Military Units comes from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors web site. That web site also can be searched by the name of a soldier.
The National Archives and the Family History Library collections include:
- Indexes to the service records for soldiers from Texas: Union FHL 881592 Confederate FHL 880014.
- Service records for volunteer Union soldiers from Texas FHL 1292646
- Service records for Confederate soldiers from Texas FHL 1501077
- Union Civil War Pension Index Cards This oniline database for Union pensions is 90% complete as of 15 April 2010
Texas Confederate soldiers service records are available at the National Archives,the Texas State Library, and the Family History Library. Several different indexes exist to help you locate your Confederate ancestor and the unit where he served. Find the unit and company your soldier served with in one of the following indexes:
- Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
- Confederate Index: Confederate Soldiers of the State of Texas. FHL 227483
- Index to compiled service records of Confederate soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Texas FHL 880014
If you cannot find your soldier in these indexes, use variant surname spellings and first initials for given names. Make a note of which unit and company he served with. Then find the unit (such as 29th Infantry, Company K) in Service Records for Confederate Soldiers from Texas. FHL 1501077 The service records usually include each soldier's name, enlistment date and place, discharge date and place, age, and sometimes residence, and physical description.
A digitized copy of the Compiled service records of Confederate soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Texas is available online at archive.org. Index and records digitized from multiple microfilm rolls.
A Confederate pension index is maintained by the Texas State Library and Archives. Additionally there is a published index to Confederate pension papers by John M. Kinney, Index to Applications for Texas Confederate Pensions, Rev. ed. Austin, Texas: Archives Division, Texas State Library, 1977. FHL 976.4 M22k FHL 928040 FHL 6019976 Both approved and rejected pension applications are included in the FHL Texas pension collection FHL 960279 Approved pensions are arranged by application number. Rejected applications are arranged alphabetically.
A published roster of some Texas regiments is Martin Hardwick Hall, The Confederate Army of New Mexico. Austin, Texas: Presidial Press, 1978. FHL 978.9 M2ha FHL 6087304 This lists soldiers of Texas stationed in New Mexico during the war.
Widows and Dependents
Additionally, the Texas Legislature approved funds to support widows and indigent families and dependents of soldiers serving in State or Confederate forces. Lists were submitted between 1863-1865 by Chief Justices of the counties. This index can be accessed online at the Texas State Library and Archives. Not all counties are represented in the index. These records are transcribed in Confederate Indigent Families Lists of Texas 1863-1865 by Linda Mearse. FHL 976.4 M2mL
Texas State Troops
During the War Between the States, Texas supported its own fighting force, Texas State Troops (TST) also known as the Texas Rangers, to protect white settlers from the Comanche and Kiowa Indians. Some of the TST were incorporated into the Confederate States of America (CSA) in March, 1864, but they stayed on the frontier to keep it secure from the Indians until about 1874 when the attacks ceased. This should be helpful to researchers looking for their Texas ancestors. Source: Bourland in North Texas and Indian Territory During the Civil War: Fort Cobb, Fort Arbuckle, and the Wichita Mountains by Patricia Adkins-Rochette
There were relatively few Union units from Texas. An index to Union soldier service records is found in:
- Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
- Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas (NARA M393) FHL 881592
If you cannot find your soldier on the index, use variant surname spellings and initials only for given names. When you find the name of the unit where your soldier served, make a note of it (such as Texas First Calvary). Service records are arranged by unit and then alphabetically within the unit. Find the correct film for Union soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas FHL 1292646 (NARA M0402)
A free Internet index to pension applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on Civil War Pension Index Cards. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. Other wars of that time period may be included in this index.
Union pension files are not on microfilm and are available only at the National Archives.
Southern Claims Commission
If a Union sympathizer in Texas claimed a loss during the Civil War due to Union military confiscation, he could apply to the Southern Claims Commission for reimbursement. Only a few applied per county, but their neighbors were called as witnesses and asked dozens of questions. Hundreds of the residents of all kinds in a county may be mentioned in answers to Commission questions, and their wartime activities described. To learn how to find records mentioning these neighbors in Texas counties during the Civil War see the Southern Claims Commission.
- Wikipedia contributors, Texas in the American Civil War, (accessed 2 July 2011).