Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


James A. Hathcock

TWENTIETH TEXAS INFANTRY. The Twentieth Texas Infantry was organized in the spring of 1862 at Galveston, Texas, to serve in the defense of the state’s coastline. The regiment was made up of primarily middle-aged wealthy men of some level of prominence. The regiment consisted of ten companies, lettered A to K, from the counties of Anderson, Austin, Falls, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Kaufman, Montgomery, Polk, Robertson, Walker, Waller, Washington, and Williamson. Col. Henry M. Elmore commanded the regiment, and its field officers were Lt. Col. Leonard A. Abercrombie and Maj. Robert E. Bell.

Throughout the war the regiment spent most of its time serving in and around Galveston. Early in 1863 the men of the regiment were trained to use heavy artillery along the coast. The only combat the regiment took part in was the battle of Galveston on January 1, 1863. On January 3, 1863, a detachment of the regiment also took part in a skirmish at Galveston. Both engagements were Confederate victories. By April 1864 the regiment had twenty-one officers and 622 men present for coastal defense. The Twentieth Texas Infantry was present at Galveston when the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered on June 2, 1865.


Edward T. Cotham, Jr., Battle on the Bay: The Civil War Struggle for Galveston (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998). Joseph H. Crute, Jr., Units of the Confederate States Army (Midlothian, Virgina: Derwent, 1987). Vertical File, Historical Research Center, Texas Heritage Museum, Hill College, Hillsboro, Texas. Stewart Sifakis, Compendium of the Confederate Armies: Texas (New York: Facts on File, 1995).

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:

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, James A. Hathcock, "TWENTIETH TEXAS INFANTRY," accessed July 21, 2019,

Uploaded on April 5, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox