A Brief History of the First Texas Volunteer Infantry

By Patrick McSherry

Musicians of the 1st Texas Volunteer Infantry

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.

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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
Click here to read a letter from Irving Poole, of Company K, 1st Texas


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 regiment left Austin on May 20, arriving at Mobile, Alabama the next day, where it was assigned to the Third Brigade, First Division of Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee's Seventh Army Corps. On June 22, the First Texas left Mobile, arriving at Miami, Florida two days later. While at Miami, on June 25, the regiment was reassigned to the First Brigade. The regiment would remain in Miami until August 8, when it was sent to Camp Cuba Libre in Jacksonville, Florida. The regiment was located at Camp Cuba Libre when an armistice put an end to the war's fighting less than a week after its arrival.

On October 22, the regiment was sent to Savannah Georgia, arriving the next day. While the First Texas was in Savannah, the Treaty of Paris was signed, formally ending the war. Later in December, the regiment was divided into two battalions for deployment to Cuba to serve in the occupation forces on the island. One battalion departed on December 23 on the transport MICHIGAN, arriving in Havana on December 26. The other two battalion shipped out departed on Christmas eve aboard the transport MOBILE, arriving Havana on December 27.

The regiment remained in Cuba until the spring of 1899. Two battalions steamed out Havana aboard the  transport MICHIGAN (Possibly renamed USAT KILPATRICK by this time) on March 25, arriving at Galveston, Texas on April 2. The remaining battalion departed Havana on the  transport FLORIDA on March 25, also arriving at Galveston on April 2First 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 Capt. Victor Theriot remaining in command.


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.

Correspondence Relating to the War with Spain Including the Insurrection in the Philippine Islands and the China Relief Expedition April 15, 1898 to July 30, 1902. Vol. 1 (Washington DC: Center for Military History, 1993) 619.

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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