While our physical offices are closed until at least April 13 due Austin's COVID-19 "shelter-in-place" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


J. L. Bryan

WIER, JOSEPH PATTERSON (1831–1864). Joseph Patterson Wier, soldier, son of Robert Napolean and Mary Jane (Reid) Wier, was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, in May 1831. The family moved to Noxubee County, Mississippi, in the late 1830s, where Wier grew to adulthood. In 1851 Wier graduated with honors from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and received his law degree there in 1854. He moved to Texas later that year, settling in Hillsboro, and was the first lawyer to practice there. In 1859 Wier established the Hillsboro Express, the first newspaper in Hill County. Wier represented Hill County at the Secession Convention of 1861 in Austin. He raised a cavalry company at Hillsboro, and on October 28, 1861, his unit entered the Confederate Army as Company A, Twelfth Texas Cavalry. He was elected the company's captain. In the spring of 1862 the regiment was sent to Arkansas to aid in the defense of Little Rock. Wier missed the regiment's first engagements, having become very ill, but he was able to return to participate in skirmishes in the fall of 1862. The next spring Wier commanded a detached squadron during William L. Cabell's expedition into northwest Arkansas and participated in the battle of Fayetteville, Arkansas, on April 16, 1863. In July he rejoined the regiment to participate in the raids between Lake Providence and Milken's Bend, Louisiana. During Union Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's Red River campaign in 1864, Wier participated in the attack on the Union gunboats at Blair's Landing on April 19. Lt. Col. A. B. Burleson was wounded in this engagement, and Wier replaced him as commander of the Twelfth Texas. Wier remained brevet colonel of the regiment during much of the pursuit of Banks down the Red River. On May 18, 1864, at the battle of Yellow Bayou, Wier led his regiment in a charge upon the enemy. He was shot through the head and died instantly. His body was buried nearby and the next spring was moved to Covington Cemetery in Hill County. Wier married Charlotte Ann Gathings, daughter of James J. Gathings, in Hill County on November 12, 1858. They had two sons.

Henry L. Ingram, Civil War Letters of George W. and Martha F. Ingram, 1861–1865 (College Station, Texas, 1923). James Verdo Reese, A History of Hill County, Texas, to 1873 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1961).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, J. L. Bryan, "WIER, JOSEPH PATTERSON," accessed March 28, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwitu.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...