Wylie Andrew Reagan and the Civil War

   My great-grandfather, William Andrew ("Wylie" or "Wylie") Reagan, who died in 1932 at the age of 87, fought for the Confederacy in the War Between the States.

   He joined from Texas just a month and a half after his 16th birthday. He was wounded in the hip and used the recurring pain as an excuse to "get halfway tooted" a bit in his later years. People also nicknamed him "War" because of his initials and the fact that he fought in the Civil War.

   No one knows why he joined up. Barely 16, he was probably only looking for adventure or a way out of doing the chores.

   That was about all the details anyone knew until I received copies of the documents related to his requesting (in 1926) a "Soldier's Application for a Pension" from the Texas State Comptroller's Office. From those Texas

State Archives documents, I discovered he served in Company G of the 15th Texas Infantry. In fact,

he enlisted in Navarro County on Oct. 12, 1861.

   That last bit of information was all that was needed to gain a wealth of information online.

   He was actually part of Fouty's Company, Company G, 15th Texas Infantry Regiment, Navarro Countains. Supposedly, details of that unit are found in "The Guns of Navarro County" by John W. Spencer. The complete roster of the company says this about William A. Reagan: "Private, age 16. Wounded at the Battle of Yellow Bayou, May 18, 1864. Regimental Return of March 1865 shows that he left on a 37-day furlough starting March 9, 1865."

   Roster details show that Yellow Bayou was one of at least four battles "Wylie" fought in: Battle of Fordoche, La., September 29, 1863; Battle of Pleasant Hill, April 9, 1864; Battle of Montgomery Landing, April 27, 1864; and Battle of Yellow Bayou in Louisiana, May 18, 1864. G Company was probably involved in the Battle of Mansfield as well, the same week as Pleasant Hill.

   The Battle of Yellow Bayou has some historical significance in that it was the final skirmish in the "ill-fated" Red River Campaign (click link for Handbook of Texas quoted source material) the Federals launched in March of 1864. After the fall of Vicksburg, President Abraham Lincoln authorized a campaign against Shreveport, La., a major supply center and "gateway to Texas." Some of his generals (Grant, Sherman and Banks) opposed the plan, but success would've denied supplies to the Confederacy, secured the navigable part of the Red River and captured vast quantities of Louisiana and Texas cotton for northern mills.     CONTINUED >

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