Ninth (Nichols') Company I






COMPANY I, NINTH (NICHOLS') REGIMENT TEXAS INFANTRY
ALSO CALLED THE FIFTH TEXAS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY

GALVESTON, 1861

BY KAREN McCANN HETT

COMPANY I ROSTER
Click on the link above to view a list of all the men in Company I
For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas,
as well as histories of the regiments they served in,
see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson.
The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at frankmjohnson.net
or by contacting Frank at fjohnson@wt.net.


The following is adapted from an article published in the Montgomery County Herald, Conroe, Texas, and is copyrighted both by the author and by the Montgomery County Texas Genealogical and Historical Society. No parts may be reproduced without written permission.


© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2007-2014

One of the little-known sagas of Texans in the Civil War is the story of more than two thousand Texans who volunteered to serve at Galveston in the early days of the war, assisting in the construction of fortifications to help in warding off the threatened landing of Lincoln's Navy on Texas soil.

Texas had passed the Ordinance of Secession (see background of this page) on February 2, 1861. Not long afterwards, U. S. President Lincoln threatened to invade the seaports of the coastal states that had seceded. Upon Lincoln's orders, the Port of Galveston was blockaded by the Federal Navy in July.

A call to arms was published by the Texas governor in response to the request of General Paul Octave Hébert, a graduate of the military academy at West Point, who joined the Confederate service and who had been appointed to the post of Commander of the Texas Department. General Hébert was ordered by the Confederate War Department to fortify the coast at Galveston.


Gen. Paul Octave Hebert

General Hébert wrote in his official report to the Confederate War Department that he "found this coast in an almost defenseless state, and in the almost total want of proper works and armaments." Hébert was determined to carry out his mission by inducting men to serve for a period of only six months.

The general put out a call for “every Texan to 'clean his old musket, shot-gun or rifle, run his bullets, fill his powder-horn, sharpen his knife, and see that his revolver is ready to hand.'”

From all around Texas came ragtag groups of concerned men, rallying to the call of the Confederacy to protect their Texas homeland.

Galveston Bay during the Union Blockade

The following is the story and roster of Company I, which was formed in Montgomery County of men who left their local militia units and marched to Galveston with Captain R. F. Oliver in the fall of 1861.

In the Compiled Service Records of the Ninth (Nichols') Texas Infantry Regiment is a letter written by Captain R. F. Oliver (who became captain of Company I of the Ninth) to General Paul Octave Hébert. The letter was written at the town of Montgomery and was sent to Hébert at Galveston:

This is a copy of the letter from the microfilm of the Compiled Service Records.
You may click on the image to read the letter in full size.

Gen Hébert
Galveston, Texas

Montgomery, Texas
October 22nd 1861

Dear Sir:
I have a
full organized company, Ready,
and anxious to perform any
kind of coast service for the
period of six months and it
is getting impracticable to keep
a command together for any length
of time. But I will now march
at a moments notice serving
service of six months and furnish
arms for ourselves. You will
please do me the kindness to inform
me at your earliest convenience
whether or not you can Receive my
company & for what time & what
Required--where to march
where to--whether as Cavalry or
Infantry--and such ... with
all consideration as you may deem
necessary. Very Truly your
Most Obt Serv’t
R. F. Oliver

Although General Hébert’s answer is not included in the brigade correspondence, we can be sure that he replied with a directive to Captain Oliver to proceed to Galveston with his company of men from Montgomery County.

The Ninth Texas Infantry (Nichols') was also called “Massey’s” and “Tate’s” Regiment. (1) It was not the only infantry regiment in Texas to be designated as the Ninth. At the time, the men thought they were serving in the Fifth Texas Regiment, and it is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Fifth Volunteer Infantry.

Some men were mustered into Confederate service in the Ninth (Nichols’) in August, 1861, and were to serve for six months, until November, 1861. Others were mustered in later and served until the spring of 1862. Shortly before its deactivation, the Ninth had five hundred twenty-six enlisted men. (2) But over its life, there were more than 2000 individuals who served in the regiment. (3)

Ebenezer B. Nichols was appointed as colonel of the Ninth Infantry on October 1, 1861. He was a Galveston merchant and politician who had been of great service to the governor of Texas in the procurement of supplies for the Texas war efforts. (4) He was rewarded with this appointment as colonel of an infantry regiment.

Other regimental officers of the Ninth were Josiah C. Massie, Lt. Colonel; and Frederick Tate, Major. Serving as a Second Lieutenant at the regimental level was Oliver Steele. (5) Lieutenant Steele became the enlisting officer for those men who signed up for the 24th Cavalry upon leaving the Ninth. (6) Steele later became a Lieutenant Colonel in Waul’s Texas Legion (7)

Another history of the Ninth (Nichols') was found in the vertical files at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro, Texas; no author was indicated, although it appears that the history was copied from Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Part II--Record of Events, Volume 68, Serial No. 80, published by Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, North Carolina, 1998.

This history identifies Company A as being comprised of men from Fayette County, Company C, men from Galveston County, Company D, men from Hardin County, and Co. E, men from Walker County . We are pleased to be able to add to the history of the Ninth by identifying Company I as being comprised mostly of men from Montgomery County.

What became of the men of the Ninth (Nichols') when they were mustered out of the Ninth?

After fulfilling their six-month enlistment terms, most of the men of the Ninth joined other regiments. The historians quoted on the University of Houston web site stated that many of the Nichols men joined Waul’s Texas Legion after leaving the Ninth.

The history found at the Confederate Research Center stated that, “A few of the reenlisted men of this company [Company I] subsequently served in Company C, Twenty-fourth Battalion, Waul’s Texas Legion; quite a number in Twentieth Texas Infantry (Elmore's).” (Elmore's was a regiment which consisted mostly of middle-aged men and served the entire war within Texas and Louisana.)

We can add to this the fact that several of the men who mustered out of the Ninth (Nichols') joined Second Texas Lancers, which became Twenty-fourth Regiment Texas Cavalry. Company B was under the command of Captain Samuel D. Wooldridge.

Captain Samuel Dunbar Wooldridge
Courtesy of Descendant, F. Carlton Cranor

The history at the Confederate Research Center further stated that the last of the men were mustered out at Galveston on April 24, 1862, by Special Orders No. 520, Department of Texas, Houston, April 17, 1862.

This was the muster-out date for the Montgomery County men whose Compiled Service Records I examined at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro,Texas. A notation on each man’s muster-out roll stated that he was “entitled to discharge by expiration of term of service.”

It was at this point that most of the men in the Ninth (Nichols’) joined other regiments and went off to fight the war on a long-term basis.

Those who joined the Second Texas Lancers were enrolled by Lieutenant Oliver Steele, an officer of the Ninth (Nichols'), before they left Galveston Island.

A large number of the men who mustered out of the Ninth subsequently joined Waul's Texas Legion.

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The roster of officers and soldiers of Company I was taken from the Compiled Service Records. You will find links to the biographies of some of the men.

Click on Roster link below for a list of names.


ROSTER OF OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF COMPANY I NINTH TEXAS INFANTRY (NICHOLS’)

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SOURCES

(1) “9th Texas Confederate Infantry Regiment (Nichols'),” Texas Confederate Journals, Military Unit List, accessed Nov. 11, 2003.
(2) Ibid.
(3) Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/regiments.htm, accessed January 10, 2004.
(4) Cotham, Edward T. Jr., BATTLE ON THE BAY: THE CIVIL WAR STRUGGLE FOR GALVESTON, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1863, page 13.
(5) “Record of Events for Ninth (Nichols’) Texas Infantry,” vertical files at the Confederate Research Center at Hillsboro, Texas; no author or publisher indicated.
(6) Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Texas, Micropublication M323, rolls 328-331. Hillsboro: Harold B. Simpson History Complex, Confederate Research Center. Records were consulted for the following men who served under Captain Wooldridge and also in the 9th (Nichols'): James William Hulon, John M. Lewis, Jr., William Malone, James McCarley, James M. McCan, J. H. Norsworthy, D. H. Parker, David E. Roten, E. E. Sandel, Peter Sandel, James B. Thomason and T.S. Walker. Records of Captain R. F. Oliver were also consulted.
(7) Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, op. cit., accessed January 20, 2004.

© Karen McCann Hett  All Rights Reserved 2007-2014






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Karen McCann Hett