Waul's Legion

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Flag of Waul's Legion

Waul's Legion was a combined arms force from Texas that fought for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Raised in the spring of 1862 at the Glenblythe Plantation near Gay Hill, Washington County, Texas by Brigadier General Thomas Neville Waul, the legion originally consisted of twelve infantry companies, six cavalry companies, and a six-gun battery of artillery. [1] [2]

Confederate States of America (de facto) federal republic in North America from 1861 to 1865

The Confederate States of America, commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

The Glenblythe Plantation is a former plantation in Gay Hill, Washington County, Texas. Before the American Civil War, it was cultivated with slave labor.


Waul's Legion participated in the Battle of Vicksburg as part of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton's Army of Mississippi.

John C. Pemberton United States Army officer

John Clifford Pemberton, was a career United States Army officer who fought in the Seminole Wars and with distinction during the Mexican–American War. He also served as a Confederate general during the American Civil War, noted for his defeat and surrender in the critical Siege of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863.

There were three organizations known as the Army of Mississippi in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

Waul's Legion at Vicksburg

Brig. Gen. Thomas N. Waul Brig Gen Thomas Neville Waul CSA.JPG
Brig. Gen. Thomas N. Waul
Waul's Texas Legion Monument, Vicksburg National Military Park Waul's TX Legion Monument, Vicksburg National Military Park, 7-20-13.jpg
Waul's Texas Legion Monument, Vicksburg National Military Park

Waul's Texas Legion is known for repelling the Union Army breach of Confederate lines during Ulysses S. Grant's largest and final organized assault on the "Fortress City" of Vicksburg, on May 22, 1863. After Union troops, most notably the 77th Illinois, under the command of John Alexander McClernand, successfully penetrated the Confederate defenses, McClernand urged Grant to follow with his own assault. Unsure of the accuracy of the message, Grant failed to act. Waul's Legion, seeing the Union breach, rushed in. After hours of intense hand-to-hand combat, the Legion put the Union troops to flight and captured two Union banners which had been placed on the fortress parapets. By the time Grant realized there had been a definitive breach of the enemy fortifications, it was too late; Waul's Texas Legion had saved the day. The angered Grant, believing McClernand had recklessly chased glory and thus caused an unnecessary loss of Union soldiers, relieved the politician-general from his post.

Ulysses S. Grant 18th president of the United States

Ulysses S. Grant was an American soldier, politician, and international statesman, who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877. During the American Civil War, General Grant, with President Abraham Lincoln, led the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy. During the Reconstruction Era, President Grant led the Republicans in their efforts to remove the vestiges of Confederate nationalism, racism, and slavery.

John Alexander McClernand Union United States Army general

John Alexander McClernand was an American lawyer and politician, and a Union general in the American Civil War. He was a prominent Democratic politician in Illinois and a member of the United States House of Representatives before the war. McClernand was firmly dedicated to the principles of Jacksonian democracy and supported the Compromise of 1850.

As this was the second failed assault to capture Vicksburg by storm, Grant decided to starve the Army of Mississippi into submission. After 47 days cut off from food and supplies, the defenders of Vicksburg were forced to surrender to Grant's Army of the Tennessee on July 4, 1863.

Army of the Tennessee unit of the Union Army during the American Civil War

The Army of the Tennessee was a Union army in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, named for the Tennessee River. It should not be confused with the similarly named Army of Tennessee, a Confederate army named after the State of Tennessee.

Composition of Waul's Legion at Vicksburg:

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  1. "GLENBLYTHE PLANTATION," Handbook of Texas Online (https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/acg01), accessed June 13, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  2. Stephen Chicoine, The Confederates of Chappell Hill, Texas: Prosperity, Civil War and Decline, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, p. 89