Washington county was the most populous in the state during the Civil War. It served as a center for production, warehousing, transportation, communications, and had a large quartermaster depot. Local wartime factories made spinning jennies, lumber, pots, kettles, wagons, and army ambulances. Government cotton was held in Brenham, one of 4 state depots. From here, wagons and carts hauled it to Mexico to exchange for vital military and civilian supplies.
Brenham, terminus of rail connections to Houston, was alive with troops, stagecoaches, freighters. Here, the early morning train was met by a pony express operation that carried the "Houston Telegraph" to Austin so that town's "Gazette" might publish the latest war news in the State Capitol.
A Confederate paper shortage forced "Brenham Banner" to suspend publication. In nearby Washington-on-the-Brazos, however, Eva Lancaster never missed an issue, printing the "The Texas Ranger" while her husband and two sons spent four years fighting for the South.
Cavalry, infantry and artillery units from Washington county fought on all fronts during the war. Waul's Legion organized and trained in county, and Brenham served as the headquarters for the Reserve Corps of Texas. Additionally, Gen. Jerome Robertson of Independence led the celebrated Hood's Texas Brigade for seventeen months.