The Bloody Fifth: The 5th Texas Infantry, Hood’s Texas Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia, Vol. 1: Secession to the Suffolk Campaign

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John F. Schmutz
Pub Date:
June 2016
Hardcover, 6 x 9
Maps, illustrations, 344 pp
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About the Book

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.


"A thoroughly researched account of a legendary Confederateinfantry regiment that
will be of deep interest to the legion of Civil War buffs whofollow the exploits of
Hood's Texas Brigade."
-- Richard M. McMurry, author of Two Great Rebel Armies,Atlanta 1864,
and John Bell Hood and the War for SouthernIndependence
"John F. Schmutz's 'The Bloody Fifth' is, to date, the most comprehensive, thoroughly
researched account of the 5th Texas Infantry and belongs in thelibrary of every serious
student of the Civil War."
-- John Michael Priest, author of "Stand to It and Give ThemHell":
Gettysburg as the SoldiersExperienced it From Cemetery Ridge to Little Round Top
" 'The Bloody Fifth' is everything a regimental history should be:diligently researched,
well-written, and brimming with hard to find factual detail andpersonal experiences.
The author deftly weaves the history of the Fifth Texas into theoverall tale of the war
without straying from his primary goal--telling the very humanstory of one regiment
whose members lived those events hour-by-hour for many years.Whenever possible
he lets the Texans tell their story in their own words and allowsthe reader to walk
alongside some of the best soldiers--perhaps THE best soldiers--inthe Army of
Northern Virginia. This is an enormous achievement."
-- Jeffrey Wm Hunt, Director, Texas MilitaryForces Museum and author of
The Last Battle of the CivilWar: Palmetto Ranch
"From their mustering in the towns and farms of east and centralTexas to the killing
fields of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, thestories of the men of the
Fifth Texas Infantry Regiment are brought to life in impeccabledetail. Although not
elite in appearance or demeanor, these roughhewn and rugged menand their leaders
were Robert E' Lee's elite shock troops, repeatedly called upon tofight where the
fighting would be the most difficult. This is the story of the'Bloody Fifth' and the
soldiers whose blood was spilled, attaining not ultimate victory,but more importantly,
eternal glory."
-- Stephen M. Hood, author of John Bell Hood: The Rise,Fall, and Resurrection of a
Confederate General and TheLost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood

John F. Schmutz enjoyed a successful career as a corporate attorney and has maintained a lifelong fascination with all aspects of the Civil War. When he is not researching and writing, John enjoys playing golf and traveling internationally. A veteran of the U.S. Army and a native of Oneida, New York, he lives with his wife in San Antonio, Texas. He holds degrees from Canisius College, the University of Notre Dame, and George Washington University. His first book was The Battle of the Crater: A Complete History (2009).