The Bloody Fifth, The 5th Texas Infantry Regiment by John F. Schmutz


The 5th Texas Infantry–“The Bloody Fifth”–was one of only three Texas regiments to fight with Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Much like the army in which it served, the 5th Texas established a stellar combat record. The regiment took part in 38 engagements, including nearly every significant battle in the Eastern Theater, as well as the Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Knoxville campaigns in the Western Theater. John F. Schmutz’s “The Bloody Fifth”: The 5th Texas Infantry, Hood’s Texas Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia is the first full-length study to document this fabled regimental command.”The Bloody Fifth” presents the regiment’s rich history from the secession of the Lone Star State and the organization of ten independent east and central Texas companies, through four years of arduous marching and fighting. The 5th Texas’s battlefield exploits are legendary, from its inaugural fighting on the Virginia peninsula in early 1862 through Appomattox. At Gettysburg, the Texans suffered horrendous losses repeatedly assaulting Little Round Top’s rocky slopes, and in the Wilderness on May 6, 1864, helped save the collapsing Confederate line while “the eyes of General Lee were upon them.” But it was at Second Manassas where the regiment earned its enduring nickname by attacking and crushing the 5th New York Zouaves. Flushed with victory, the Texans pushed through the disintegrating Federal lines and outdistanced the remainder of the Brigade–as well as the rest of the Confederate army. In his official report on the battle, Gen. John Bell Hood, boasted that the 5th Texas had “slipped the bridle.” Its exploits that day earned the regiment its undying sobriquet “The Bloody Fifth.”Schmutz’s monumental regimental history, which also details the personal lives of these Texas soldiers as they struggled to survive the war some 2,000 miles from home, is based upon years of archival research that has uncovered hundreds of primary sources. Complete with photos and original maps, “The Bloody Fifth”: The 5th Texas Infantry, Hood’s Texas Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia is a significant contribution to the growing literature of the Civil War.


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