A Brief History of the First Texas Volunteer Infantry

By Patrick McSherry

The drum major (left) and possibly principal musician (right) of the 1st Texas Volunteer Infantry
Note the crossed drumsticks insignia on the drum major'sright arm.

Click here to read a letter from Ben C. Love, an officer in the 1st Texas
Click here for a roster of the 1st Texas Volunteer Infantry
General:

The First Texas Volunteer Infantry served in Cuba as part of the occupation forces.

The Unit History:

The First Texas Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service between May 10 and 12, 1898 at Austin, Texas. At the time of muster in, the unit consisted of forty-six officers and 956 enlisted men. It was commanded by Colonel Charles G. Dwyer. Company B, formed in Galveston was known as the "Galveston Rifles." This company was mustered in on May 10, and was under the command of  Captain Victor N. Theriot.

The unit was sent to be a part of Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee's Seventh Army Corps, where it served as part of the First Brigade of the First Division. However, the unit, along with much of the Seventh Corps, was still stationed at Camp Cuba Libre in Jacksonville, Florida in October, 1898, two months after an armistice had put an end to hostilities. The First Texas did eventually move on to Cuba, as part of the occupation forces. It departed the United States on December 23, 1898, thirteen days after the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the war. The unit arrived in Cuba on December 26. The First Texas left Cuba to return to the United States on March 25, 1899, arriving on April 2.

The First Texas Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of service on April 18, 1899 at Galveston, Texas. At this time the unit consisted of forty-six officers, but only 822 enlisted men. During its term of service, the unit lost one officer and 14 enlisted men to disease. One other enlisted man was killed in an accident, and fifteen men deserted. In addition, fifty-seven men were discharged on disability and three other men were court martialed.

After the war, Company B continued to exist, apparently as part of the National Guard, with Theriot in command.



Bibliography:

Clerk of Joint Committee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899) Vol. 3 219, 494.

Huffines, Alan C. - Image of the 1st Texas drum major.

Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).

Texas State Library and Archives Website

Wright, General Marcus J.,Wright's Official History of the Spanish American War.(Washington: War Records Office 1900) 335.


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