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Optional page text here. William Hefferman

William Hefferman

William Heffernan was born in Kilkenny, Kilkenny County, Ireland. He reported his age on the 1880 Texas Census as 52 (but reported his age in 1860 as 28), so he was born between 1828 and 1832. A family story written by his daughter Cora says that he was sent to New York to attend a convent school, didn't like it, and ran away. He may have been in New York as early as 1838. We have no record of his whereabouts until he appears in Texas.

William Heffernan first appears in the records in the 1860 Texas Census, Homer, Angelina County. He is reported to be 28, occupation shoemaker, born in Ireland, with personal property valued at $600. He is living in the same house as William Seaton, 24, also a shoemaker, born in England, and William Manning, 39, physician, born in Mississippi.

William Heffernan married Martha Jones Hardin in Angelina County. The license was issued on November 1, 1861, the marriage recorded on November 3, 1861. Martha Jones was born April 20, 1840, in Nacogdoches (later became Cherokee) County. She was married at age 13 or 14 to a Mr. Hardin. She had two sons, listed on the 1880 census as Hiram, age 23, and W. J., age 21. The family story is that Hardin left home to go claim some money in "the old state" and never returned. Martha's brother Jake Jones, from San Antonio, took Martha and her sons to live with him. There she met William Heffernan.

William and Martha Heffernan had sons Alexander, Horace and John, and daughters Mary Ellen, Loue, Catherine, Cora, Sallie, and Alice.

William Heffernan In the Civil War

William Heffernan enlisted twice in the Confederate Service, serving from the start of the war until the end. He was in Angelina County, Texas when he enlisted. By comparing information from his pension application and Cora's written recollections to the history of Texas's participation in the Civil War we can reconstruct some of his war experiences. The source for Civil War history and William Heffernan on the muster Roll is the website "Texans in the Civil War", by Randy Howald, Items below in italics are excerpts from that site.

From Martha Heffernan's Confederate Widow's pension application: "My husband, William Heffernan enlisted and served in the military service of the Confederate States during the war between the states of the United States." He served in "Company L, (McKnights) Ochiltree's Regiment. After the fall of Arkansas Post, he was in Taylor's Regiment." He was a private in the infantry, a volunteer.

From an affidavit by J.W. Thomas, "I was in Anderson's Company (D, in the 22 Texas Infantry), Hubbards regiment, same brigade in which William Heffernan served. I saw him volunteer. He lived in my neighborhood prior to the war and enlisted in McKnight's Company, Ochiltree's regiment. I frequently saw him during the war while he was serving as a confederate soldier, and know that he was a good soldier and performed honorable service for the Confederacy. . . . McKnight's Company was transferred to the 17th consolidated, commanded by General Polinack."

From Cora's recollections of her father's Confederate service: "William Heffernan enlisted in the Confederate forces 1862. He served under General Bragg at Vicksburg and was possibly in the battle at Shiloh because they retreated back to Vicksburg. At Vicksburg he surrendered with General Pemberton. They took an oath of allegiance not to fight against the union and was given the freedom to return home. He didn't go home, he went to Tennessee and fought with the confederate forces until the war ended in 1865. As he was returning home to Texas from fighting in Tennessee he found that the Union forces were patrolling the river checking people who crossed. He was afraid that he would be prosecuted for breaking his oath of allegiance if he was caught so he got a herd of cattle and drove them toward the river. When he got to the line the soldiers parted to let him through.

Walker's Texas Division

Walker's Texas Division was organized at Camp Nelson, near Austin, Arkansas, in October 1862. The only division in Confederate service composed, throughout its existence, of troops from a single state. It took its name from Major General John George Walker, who took command from its organizer, Brigadier General Henry Eustice McCulloch, on January 1, 1863. During its existence it was commonly called the "Greyhound Division" or "Walker's Greyhounds", in tribute to its special capability to make long, forced marches from one threatened point to another in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Elements of the division attempted to relieve the siege of Vicksburg by attacking the federal troops at Millken's Bend in June and took part in the battle of Bayou Boubeau in Louisiana in November 1863. The high point of its service was during the early months of 1864, when it opposed federal Maj. Nathaniel Bank's invasion of Louisiana by way of the Red River valley. On April 8-9, 1864, it was committed with other Confederate forces in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, halting Bank's advance on Shreveport and Marshall. On April 10, 1864, with Thomas J. Churchill's and William H. Parson's division, it began a forced march north to intercept federal Maj. General Frederick Steele, who was moving from Little Rock to Camden, Arkansas, in cooperation with Bank's invasion from the south. Stelle reached Camden on April 15, then evacuated it on the 27th. On the 30th he was overtaken by Confederate forces, including Walker's Division, at Jenkin's Ferry on the Saline River, fifty-five miles north of Camden. The ensuing fighting was desperate, costing the lives of two of the three brigade commanders of the division. Steele completed his withdrawal to Little Rock, ending the last real threat to western Louisiana and Texas during the war. In June 1864, Walker was directed to assume command of the District of West Louisiana, and Major General John Horace Forney took command of the division. During March and April 1865 the division marched to Hempstead, Texas where the men disbanded themselves in May 1865.

Initially, the division was made up of four brigades 1st Brigade composed of the Eighth, Twelfth, Eighteeth and Twenty-second Texas Infantry regiments, the Thirteenth Texas Cavalry (dismounted), and Haldeman's Texas Battery
2nd Brigade composed of the Eleventh and Fourteenth Texas Infantry regiments, the Twenty-eighth Texas Cavalry (dismounted), the Sixth (Gould's) Texas Cavalry Battalion (dismounted), and Daniel's Texas Battery
3rd Brigade composed of the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and nineteenth Texas Infantry regiments, the Sixteenth Texas Cavalry (dismounted), and Edgar's Texas Battery 4th Brigade composed of the Tenth Texas Infantry and the Fifthteenth, Eighteenth and Twenty-fifth Texas Cavalry regiments (dismounted).

William Heffernan is found on this Muster Roll:
18th Texas Infantry Muster Roll, Company L, James McNight, Capt.: Hefferman, William, Sgt., Music

The 18th Texas Infantry

The 18th (also known as Ochiltree's) Regiment Texas Infantry, with eleven companies A to L, completed its organization by the election of field officers May 13, 1862. Captain McNight's Company L was transferred to the 14th Regiment Texas Infantry sometime prior to October 31, 1862, and became (1st) Company K of that organization. Like almost all Civil War units, the 18th was known by an alternate designation derived from the name of its commanding officer.

The 18th Tx Infantry (minus Company L) spent its entire career within the Trans-Mississippi Department. During late 1862 a detachment of the unit was temporarily mounted.

Source: Confederate Research Center, Hillsboro, Texas (From Randy's Texans In The Civil War)

The 14th Texas Infantry

The 14th Texas Confederate Infantry Regiment was organized in early 1862 and surrendered by General E.K. Smith, commanding Trans - Mississippi Department, on May 26, 1865.
Red River Campaign (March - May 1864)
Camden Expedition (March - May 1864)
Mansfield (April 8, 1864)
Pleasant Hill (April 9, 1864)
Jenkin's Ferry (April 30, 1864)

Note From William's pension application: After the fall of Arkansas Post, he served in Taylor's regiment.

Note: Cora writes "William served under General Bragg". He surrendered under General Pemberton.

Source:Cindy Smith

Texans in the Civil War
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