Researching the 7th Texas Infantry
Friends of Raymond, and the Austin Civil War Roundtable are excited. Within the year, members of the Roundtable will be arriving in Raymond with the first monument to be erected on the Raymond battlefield. The monument will be in memory of the 7th Texas Infantry, the regiment that sustained the most losses during the Battle of Raymond.
In preparation for the event, Rebecca Drake and Edward Lanham, researcher from Brooks, Georgia, have delved into the history of the 7th Texas Infantry. "Lanham and I share a common interest in researching the 7th Texas," Drake commented. "In 1863, the 7th Texas was heavily engaged in the Battle of Raymond, several miles from my home and a year later they were in the Battle of Atlanta, several miles from Lanham's home." In-depth research on the part of Lanham and Drake has unveiled a paper trail of long forgotten data, especially concerning the commanding officers and those who were killed, wounded or taken prisoner.
Extensive data has been found in two books: Intrepid Gray Warriors, by James Newsom, and Force Without Fanfare, by General K. M. Van Zandt. "General Van Zandt was one of the few men of the 7th Texas who fought through the entire war and lived to tell about it," commented Lanham. "During the Battle of Raymond, Van Zandt fought under General Gregg and Col. Granbury's command. However, as the war moved into Alabama and Georgia he was promoted to the rank of general. Unlike Generals Gregg and Granbury who were killed following the Atlanta Campaign, Van Zandt lived through the entire war. In post war years, he became president and owner of the Fort Worth National Bank."
Van Zandt recalled the history of the organization of the 7th Texas in his book. "In the summer of 1861, the Honorable John Gregg, a member from Texas of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States, received authority from Secretary of War, L. P. Walker, to raise a regiment of Infantry volunteers in Texas for service in the Cis [Trans] Mississippi Department. Gregg communicated this fact to personal friends in Texas, especially to Colonel J. M. Clough of Marshall, who gave him material assistance in the recruiting and organizing of the regiment. In response to the 'call' made by him, ten companies, commanded by the following captains, and from the following counties, reported at Marshall in the first week in October and were mustered into the service of the Confederate States FOR THREE YEARS OR THE WAR."
There were originally ten captains of militia divisions comprising the 7th Texas. They were: E T. Broughton, Kaufman County; S. T. Bridges, Henderson County; J. W. Brown, Rusk County; R. S. Camp, Upshur County; Jack Davis, Cherokee County; H. B. Granbury, McLennan County; W. B. Hill, Freestone County; W. L. Moody, Freestone County; William Smith, Smith County and K. M. Van Zandt, Harrison County.
"Six of the original ten captains, not including John Gregg who was commander of the brigade, were professional lawyers," Lanham commented. "Col. John Gregg, lawyer/judge of Freestone County, enlisted at age 32, while Hiram B. Granbury, a lawyer from McLennan County, enlisted at age of 30. The militia group that Granbury assembled in McLennan County was named the Waco Guards. When Granbury was killed at the Battle of Franklin, his Waco Guards button, along with his brigadier general insignia, was on his uniform."
Also prominent in Drake and Lanham's research was a 1995 dissertation Intrepid Gray Warrior, The Seventh Texas 1861-1865. The dissertation was written by James Newsom, in turbulent of a doctoral degree from T.C.U. "Newsom's dissertation contains approximately, 200 pages of solid research data," commented Drake. "After I learned of the document, I immediately tried to purchase a copy. However, I found that it was not available since it was dissertation material and not yet in book form. I finally had the Eudora Welty Library, order the dissertation through a library program known as the Inter-library Loan. Within weeks, I had a copy."
Intrepid Gray Warriors, revealed that 41 soldiers of the 7th Texas were killed as a result of the Battle of Raymond. "This newly discovered data means that the City of Raymond can now add an additional headstone in the Confederate Cemetery," Drake commented. "The soldier to be added is William McMills, Co. H." Newsom's dissertation also documents the names of 71 soldiers who were wounded in the Battle of Raymond and the names of 43 soldiers who were taken prisoner.
"What's interesting about this research," Lanham commented, "is the paper trail created by each soldier after enlistment in Marshall in 1861. Most people think that their ancestors just picked up a gun and rode off helter-skelter to fight in the war. The truth is, enlistment in the Confederate Army was an official act much like joining the military today. As soon as a soldier enlisted the paper trail began."
During the year 2002, the Austin Civil War Roundtable will honor the 7th Texas and the men who fought in the Battle of Raymond by erecting a $10,000 monument in the Raymond Military Park. "Friends of Raymond will announce the dedication of the monument," states David McCain, president, "and we hope that when the time comes, everyone will come out to celebrate this historic event."
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