Re: Rebs in Green,Yanks in Red
The primary execution was done by the 5th texas, 18th georgia, and the Hampton Legion, the latter two also being a part of Hood's brigade at this time. The maine direction of the attack was across Chinn Ridge, towards Young's Branch. Initially, the brigade engaged the 10th NY Zouaves, supporting Kern's battery and drove off the Zouaves, then overran and captured the battery. Captain Kerns refused to surrender, loading and firing his last gun alone, mortally wounded. The Texans helped him to the shade of a large oak tree, where he died the following day. He refused to be taken to a hospital, saying that he had promised to fight his guns or die under them.
The 5th NY Zouaves (Duryea's) were in reserve at this location. As the Brigade came over the ridge, the 5th calmly stood at shoulder arms. It then went to the ready, as if on parade, and then fired a battalion volley which, owing to the hight differences of the two lines, mainly went over the heads of the Texans. Hood's men returned fire and the slaughter was terrible. Most of the 5th were killed or wounded in that short sharp engagement, many falling as they tried to cross the stream behind them in escape, weighed down by the water soaking into their loose wool moorish trousers.
Afterwards, several of the Texans remarked that from a distance, the field looked as though covered with poppies.....
Several eyewitness accounts may be found in Harold Simpson's book "Hood's Texas Brigade, Lee's Grenadier Guards". Also reccomnded is "Hood's Texas Brigade", by J.B.Polley. of the 4th Texas.
For what it's worth, I have never heard of any green uniforms being issued to the Texans, or any of the battalions that early on served with them. This is the first contemporary account I have ever read of such a thing.
The engagement at 2nd Manassas was, for the Texans, a relatively easy affair. They would be sorely used and nearly destroyed in a few short weeks in the fields by the Dunker Church at Sharpsburg.
Polar Star Lodge #114