"Hood's Texas Brigade: Its Marches, Its Battles, Its Achievements," by Joseph B. Polley is a first-hand, eyewitness recounting of the history of the famous Hood Brigade, made up of the First Texas Infantry Regiment, Fourth Texas Infantry Regiment, Fifth Texas Infantry Regiment, and various regiments from Arkansas, Georgia, and South Carolina at various periods in the Civil War.
General John Bell Hood became commander of the brigade in February 1862, and although he served only six months as its leader, permanently lent his name to the force. Hood and his regiment established a reputation for hard fighting which is described by brigade member Joseph Polley. The unit served in twenty-four major battles, including Antietam and Gettysburg. Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and James Longstreet all praised Hood’s Texas Brigade as one of the finest units of the Confederate Army. The unit reached a maximum strength of 4,400 men during the war, but numbered only 600 officers and men at the close of the conflict.
When a British officer criticized to Lee, the rag tag appearance of the Texas Brigade as it passed them late in the war, Lee replied: "that's all right, Colonel, the enemy never sees the back of my Texans."
This memoir of Polley's army service, "Hood's Texas Brigade," is considered one of the classics of Civil War literature. Historian Charles Ramsdell. notes that "the author's happy style makes this book very readable, very unlike the great bulk of regimental and brigade histories." A great Civil War history for the reader interested in the war from the Confederate side.
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